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Overzealous policemen mishandling journalists not the fault of government – Deputy Information Minister

Fatimatu Abubakar1212 Deputy Information Minister, Fatimatu Abubakar

Thu, 5 May 2022 Source:

Deputy Information Minister says government can’t be blamed for overzealousness of the police

Government is taking steps to ensure that journalists are protected, Fatimatu Abubakar

Akufo-Addo's govt will go down as the worst in terms of press freedom if nothing changes, Braimah

Deputy Information Minister, Fatimatu Abubakar, has refuted suggestions that the government is responsible for the recent mishandling of journalists, who were suspected to be involved in criminal activities, by police officers.

According to Fatimatu Abubakar, even though the incident has given Ghana a bad image which has resulted in the country significantly dropping places in the last World Press Freedom Index, it is not the fault of the government, reports.

She indicated that the government is however taking the needed steps together with the stakeholders involved to ensure that the issue of media men being maltreated by the security agencies is curbed.

“Out of some overzealous policemen, in handling cases of some journalists suspected to be involved in crimes are not the doing of government. The government, however, acknowledging that these events negatively affect Ghana’s ranking, has instituted a coordinated mechanism for the safety of journalists, run by the National Media Commission, so that some of these issues can be addressed.

“Government is putting in the necessary steps including taking inputs from technocrats and industry experts to facilitate the passage of the Broadcasting Bill,” the deputy minister is quoted to have said.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah has stated that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government would go down as the worse in the 4th Republic of Ghana in terms of press freedom if the current trend of attacks on journalists in the country does not change.

He cited the murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale in 2019, which has still not been resolved, and the criminalisation of speech which has led to recent arrests of some media personalities, as setbacks in the fight for free and credible media.

Also, Ghana's performance on the index shows that it dropped 30 places in the world from its previous 30th position, and it also fell by six places from its previous third position in Africa.

The report indicated that journalists to protect their jobs and their security, mostly resort to self-censorship, as the government shows itself intolerant of criticism.

Stakeholders in the media landscape in Ghana have described the performance as the worst in the last 17 years and have attributed the poor performance to the murder of Ahmed Hussein-Suale and the criminalisation of speech which has led to recent arrests of some media personalities in the country.

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