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Leaders around the world must make an effort to end state-sponsored attacks on journalists in their respective countries, Ghanaian leader Nana Akufo-Addo has said.
Addressing the UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano Prize Ceremony and Gala Dinner of the World Press Freedom Day 2018 held in Accra at the Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City on Wednesday, 2 May, President Akufo-Addo said any form of attack on journalists anywhere in the world was condemnable.
"I use this opportunity to call on all governments the world over to put an end to state-sponsored acts that seek to restrict the practice of journalism.
"When supported, the free press has the potential to quicken the development of society. Indeed, democracy has no place for a media that does not keep a government on its toes", the Ghanaian leader said.
In the past few months, Ghanaian journalists have suffered various attacks, some by the police and military. The most recent of such attacks was the brutal assault of Multimedia Group journalist Latif Iddrisu by police officers from whom he had made an innocuous enquiry during the melee that followed the arrest of the main opposition National Democratic Congress’ Deputy General Secretary Koku Anyidoho.
At the event, President Akufo-Addo also expressed concern about the abuse of social media in spreading misinformation.
"The risk of deliberate misinformation campaigns by some elements in the democratic space and the risk of inadvertent misinformation by media practitioners often in their desire to be first with the news".
This year's Press Freedom Day is being jointly organised by UNESCO and the Government of the Republic of Ghana, on the theme: 'Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law'.
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