Journalist details how he was arrested, detained by National Security over yet to be published story

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Sun, 25 Apr 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The freedom and independence of Ghana’s media as enshrined in Article 162 of the constitution details that: “There shall be no impediments to the establishment of private press or media; and in particular, there shall be no law requiring any person to obtain a licence as a prerequisite to the establishment or operation of a newspaper, journal or other media for mass communication or information.

It further maintains that “Editors and publishers of newspapers and other institutions of the mass media shall not be subject to control or interference by Government, nor shall they be penalized or harassed for their editorial opinions and views, or the content of their publications.”

Despite the above provisions, however, it adds that the rights can be fettered when it affects national security, public order, public morality and for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons.

In the past, some Ghanaian pressmen have been invited or arrested by personnel of National Intelligence Bureau due to publications they have made.

It, therefore, came as no surprise when early this month, the editor of digital news platform, Whatsup was picked up by National Security operatives over an alleged publication.

His case, however, was different; investigations and interviews for a story he was working on were not completed and hence had not been published.

In fact, while interviewing the subject of his story, there was a disruption, shortly after which he was detained at the Police Headquarters for about 24 hours.

Narrating his ordeal on GhanaWeb’s #SayItLoud, David Tamakloe expressed shock at the charges which he had been pressed with.

“...When my statement was being taken, I was told that I had published false news. And I recall I was interviewing a character in the story that I’m investigating and that story, particularly is still under investigation; we have not published anything about it.

“So, it was difficult to understand why anybody would arrest me or would charge me for publishing false news in that particular case.

“We hadn’t started any story at all. Sometimes you are doing a story, you’ll want to do promo for some strategic reasons but this wasn’t the case here,” he asserted.

According to the Whatsup News editor, however, he was discharged from detention on bail and the charge of false publication dropped.

When he probed further, Mr Tamakloe was informed that the complainant was no longer interested in the case.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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