Hajia Fati must not go scot free - ASWIM defends assaulted Journalist
The Association of Women in the Media (ASWIM) has strongly condemned the assault of its member and journalist, Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepa, by popular New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporter Hajia Fati at the party headquarters.
Sekyiwaa said she received a slap on her face from the 'fiery' NPP fanatic when she tried interviewing her (Hajia Fati) about the impending National Delegates Conference.
She disclosed that the assault happened after Hajia Fati tried to deny the suspended Second Vice Chairman of the party, Sammy Crabbe to pick up a form to contest for the Chairmanship position.
“…I got closer to her. I wanted to interview her so I took my phone out. I wanted to take a picture and so as soon as she turned, she looked at my face and asked me why I was taking pictures of her. I didn’t utter a word. She slapped me in the face, on my mouth and she almost took the phone from me", she narrated.
A statement signed by the Interim President of the Association, Mrs Mavis Kitcher, rendered the incident as “unfortunate” that such maltreatment of a journalist should occur in the 21st century and immediately after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day here in Ghana when Ghanaians were so proud that the country was ranked as 23rd in the world and first in Africa by Reporters Without Borders on the World Press Freedom ranking list for an environment conducive to freedom of the press and for democracy to thrive.
ASWIM, therefore, has called on the police to investigate the matter and serve justice where its due while calling on the security personnel to work towards ensuring that the alarming rate at which journalists are maltreated and abused is put to a stop.
Read the full statement below
STATEMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN IN THE MEDIA ON ASSAULT OF OHEMAA SAKYIWAA
ASWIM CONDEMNS ASSAULT ON JOURNALIST
The attention of the Association of Women in the media (ASWIM), has been drawn to the assault of Ohemaa Sakyiwaa, a Reporter of Adom FM who is also a member of ASWIM by Hajia Fati, a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), while she was on assignment at the National Headquarters of the NPP on Friday May 4, to report on members of the party who were picking nomination forms to contest for national executive positions in the party.
We unequivocally condemn the assault on Ms Sakyiwaa while she was performing her duty as a journalist and call on the police to investigate and take immediate action on the matter to stop the maltreatment and harrassment of reporters in their line of duty,
Ms Sakyiwaa informed ASWIM that while she was on the assignment she saw Hajia Fati when she arrived at the NPP office so she went to her, introduced herself and asked to interview her.
She was, however, told by a man standing beside her that Hajia was too angry to talk. As a reporter who needed to capture the situation prevailing at the time, Ms Sakyiwaa said she decided to capture the scene at the NPP headquarters on camera until she could obtain interviews from the people present, including Hajia Fati.
Unfortunately, just as she began, Hajia Fati smashed her phone and slapped her on the mouth.
She indicated that some party folks who were around during the assault took her to their office
Indeed, it is unfortunate that such maltreatment of a journalist should occur in the 21st century and immediately after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day here in Ghana when Ghanaians were so proud that the country was ranked as 23rd in the world and first in Africa by Reporters Without Borders on the World Press Freedom ranking list for an environment conducive to freedom of the press and for democracy to thrive. Indeed, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo recently condemned the maltreatment of journalists when he addressed journalists of the world at the dinner and awards ceremony in Accra.
Obviously, if journalists are forced to consider their safety first and, therefore, are unable to cover events which could put their lives at risk this would be to the detriment of the nation and our democracy.
The association takes a very serious view of the assault of our member and demand that the necessary action is taken against Hajia Fati to send a strong signal to members of the public who take the law into their own hands and blatantly disregard the human rights of others, especially journalists and continue to manhandle reporters and treat them with disdain.
The association would follow the matter closely to ensure that justice is done.
Signed by Interim President of ASWIM, Mrs Mavis Kitcher.