Friday, May 10, 2013

MFWA Director Charge Ghana Police to Prosecute Bodyguards for locking up Journalists

The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has charged the Ghana Police Service to act swiftly to arrest and prosecute bodyguards for locking up four Ghanaian journalists in a church.

The men believed to be bodyguards of Prophet T.B Joshua, Founder and Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), on May 7, 2013 detained four journalists belonging to Accra-based media organisations for several hours, a statement from MFWA stated.

The journalists were locked up in a room at the church premises located at the Spintex Road, a suburb of Accra, the capital according to the statement. It took the intervention of a police officer identified as Supt. Alex Kumankani, before the journalists were released.


“People cannot take the law into their own hands and maltreat journalists in that manner so the police must come in quickly and arrest and prosecute them immediately,” he told Adom FM.

The four, Emmanuel Anteh and Gilbert Azu, reporter and cameraman respectively of privately-owned Multi-TV, and Abdul Wahab Giwah and Seth Yeboah, cameramen of privately-owned Net 2 Television were accosted by the bodyguards while covering vehicular traffic and a large crowd that had gathered at the church premises in wait of the visiting Prophet.

One of the journalists, Anteh told Adom FM, that the bodyguards tried to seize their camera and locked them in a room where the reporters of Net 2 TV were already being held. They were filming the crowd when the bodyguards approached them and invited them into the church.

“This unlawful detention of the journalists has been met with wide public condemnation with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) demanding an immediate investigation into the matter, adding that the law is not a respecter of any person irrespective of spiritual pedigree or social status.” The release further stated.

According to MFWA, this brings to two, assaults against journalists within the last two weeks. On April 25, 2013, a reporting crew from privately-owned Metro Television was physically assaulted while their camera was destroyed at Spintex Road by Mrs. Maria Djentuh, an estate owner, when they went to cover a confrontation between her (Mrs. Djentuh) and the residents of the estate.

“This trend of attacks on journalists by individuals must be curbed. The MFWA, therefore, calls on journalists associations and groups to pursue these cases to ensure that investigations are actually conducted and the findings are made public so that appropriate redress or legal actions could be pursued” it ends.


Ghana is one of the countries that repeal its laws on sedition and criminal libel. Journalists have enjoyed the unfettered media rights in the country.


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