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The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has backed its affiliate, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to call for an independent investigation into the arrest, detention, and alleged torture of journalists- Emmanuel Ajafor Abugri and Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum.
A statement from IFJ to the Ghana News Agency explained that both journalists, who worked for Ghanaian digital media ModernGhana, were arrested and charged with cybercrime on June 27, 2019, following the site’s publication of a story criticising the National Security Minister.
During the raid, the statement said laptops were seized from ModernGhana’s office by National Security agents and civil society organisations denounced the “Rambo style” of the raid.
After their release, they denounced alleged torture and mistreatment by the authorities, who “slapped” them several times and checked all their phones and social media accounts without a warrant and forced them to remove the posts that were critical of the Minister.
It said, however, authorities denied all allegations of torture.
Mr Roland Affail Monney, the President of GJA said: “On the grounds of democratic principles, freedom and independence of the media and the tradition of defending the rights of journalists, we unequivocally condemned the process and procedure adopted to seek justice over the cybercrime allegedly committed by the journalists.”
“We call for an independent investigation to ascertain the truth in this case,” he added.
Mr Anthony Bellanger, the General Secretary of IFJ said: “The arbitrary arrest and torture of journalists for doing their job are very serious allegations. We urge the authorities to immediately conduct a thorough investigation. We stand in solidarity with our two colleagues,” the statement noted.
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