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The president of the Ghana Journalist Association, Dr. Affail Monney has asked all journalists to boycott the 11th July meeting scheduled with the Ghana police in solidarity for justice for fellow journalist, Latif Iddris.
The meeting which was an invitation extended to the Association by the Media Foundation for West Africa is aimed at promoting a good relationship between the media and police but GJA wants all its members to boycott it due to the way the police has treated the JoyNews reporter’s case.
“The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has invited the GJA to attend a workshop at the Police Headquarters on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 to discuss and promote good relations between the police and the media. Given the manner the police have handled the Latif case, we do not find any compelling reason to participate in such dialogue. It will amount to sweep the dust under the carpet or playing the ostrich when the real issue underpinning the cordiality of our relationship has not been dealt with,” Dr Affail Monney said at a press conference in Accra.
According to him, given the national and international interests the case has generated, and more importantly, the precarious health condition of Latif, the GJA finds the approach of police investigations in this matter tardy.
He stated that, “three months after the GJA had a meeting with the Police Administration about the way forward in bringing the culprit to book, the police are yet to report on the outcome of its investigations into the matter”.
He added that the sluggish pace at which the police was handling Latif’s case was appalling.
The president assured all journalist of the Association’s unflinching support to seeing the matter to its logical conclusion.
“The GJA will not flinch in its resolve to pursue justice for Latif, we may petition the Vice President who is the Chairman of the Police Council or the President himself on this matter. We also intend to explore other avenues for human rights redress, both at the National and International levels, as well as any other measure that would bring justice to Latif,” he said.
According to him, there is a need for the establishment of an Independent Police Commission to handle such cases.
“There is no doubt that the PIPS has failed to live up to expectation in such cases. In any event, the PIPS as it exists now is an affront to the maxim that ‘You cannot be a judge in your own case’ he said.
In March 2018, a group of demonstrators believed to be supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) besieged the environs of the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service in Accra to protest the arrest of the party’s Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho.
In discharging their cardinal responsibility to keep the public informed about happenings in the country, journalists from various media houses were on call at the scene.
While covering the demonstration some police officers brutally assaulted Latif Iddris, a journalist with the Multimedia Group Limited.
His crime was asking for the name of a police vehicle.
The brutal assault did not only leave Latif traumatized for many days; it also left him battling with life, as he suffered severe bodily harm, including damage to his skull.
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