We at PRINPAG are deeply concerned to report yet another disturbing incident of a journalist being subjected to physical assault in the line of duty. The incident occurred on Friday, October 13, during the vetting process of Parliamentary Aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the Odododiodoo constituency.
Akosua Otchere, a journalist with Citi FM/TV in Accra, was viciously attacked by individuals reportedly affiliated with the NDC. This reprehensible act of violence not only undermines the fundamental principles of press freedom, but it also raises serious concerns about the safety and security of journalists who are committed to providing unbiased and objective news coverage.
This is coming barely a week after some political thugs affiliated with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) budged into a live programme in the studios of United Television (UTV) in Accra with sticks, stones and machetes, scaring panelists, presenters and producers. That attack was widely condemned by several stakeholders, and we thought we had witnessed the last of such incidents.
The attack on Akosua Otchere last Friday is a clear violation of her rights to carry out her duties without fear of reprisal. The Private Newspapers and Online News Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), lends its support to all others who have condemned this act in the strongest terms, and urge the NDC to live up to its words by identifying those criminal elements to bring them to justice.
It cannot be over emphasized that, journalists play a critical role in our society and democratic governance, ensuring that, citizens are informed and empowered to make well-informed decisions. It is paramount, therefore, that their safety is guaranteed and protected. PRINPAG calls on all political parties and all media stakeholders in the country to prioritize the safety of journalists and to create an environment that fosters freedom of the press.
PRINPAG would like to use this opportunity to advise all politicians to caution their supporters and members to avoid violence, especially against the media, because no democracy can be effective without the active participation and involvement of the media.
We also encourage the authorities to swiftly investigate this incident and to hold the perpetrators accountable, to send a strong message to all that, such acts of violence against journalists will no more be tolerated.
PRINPAG stands in solidarity with Akosua Otchere and Citi FM/TV and affirms our unwavering commitment to protecting the rights of journalists across Ghana. We urge all members of the media fraternity to remain resilient in the face of such attacks and to continue to uphold their professional mandate and responsibilities.
Long Live the Ghanaian media fraternity!
For further inquiries please contact:
Jeorge Wilson Kingson
Ag. Executive Secretary
Andrew Edwin Arthur