Ghana:Journalists Won’t Witness Torture By Security Agencies- ACP Samuel Kwasi Ofori

By Maxwell Nkansah

Although Ghana is highly respected for its press freedom credentials globally, the rights of its journalists have often been abused. In the last decade, the number of reported cases of torture and abuse of journalists by Ghanaian security agencies has increased significantly and the lack of prosecution or sanctions against errant officers is believed to have made the situation a worsening epidemic.

The ability of the media to function effectively as a fourth estate is hooked firmly on the maximum cooperation it receives from the different entities within society at whose service it operates.

Recently, concerns have been raised in Ghana about the spate of assault and intimidation against media practitioners, and this action appears to hinder the independence, growth, and development of the media.

Using an inductive approach for qualitative data analysis and drawing on the provocation theory, this study explored the degree of assault and intimidation in Ghana’s media environment and found that attacks on the media were traced to three major sources, namely, security agencies, communities/individual citizens, and supporters of political parties.

Assault and harassment of media practitioners in Ghana’s landscape emanates from three major spheres.

These include security agencies, communities/individual citizens, and party supporters. Although the media operates autonomously of the aforementioned entities, the regular flow of uninterrupted information between the media (the fourth estate) and the three major players is critical to their coexistence, and hence the effective functioning of the media.

In an interview with the Director General of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service ACP Samuel Kwasi Ofori said, the police service has always deepens the relations with the media such that the media won’t witness any assault on journalists in the country under the newly appointed Inspector General of Police (IGP).

He did also say that the meeting with the media is to apprise them of a new direction between the police administration and the media.

He further stated that the rule of the police and the media is to educate and inform the general public on issues making waves in the country.

Under the two former Inspector General of Police of the Republic of Ghana, there have been several assaults on journalists without any proper arrest of these policemen who were involved in such act for decade.

Many journalists are sometimes fear for their lives in going out to report on issues which has to do with security agencies in the country due to the treatment given to media personals. The newly appointed IGP has shown perfect leadership in his few months as Inspector General of Police, which has raised more hope for media practitioners.

 

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