By Roselyn Ganyaglo
The Ghana Journalists Association, GJA, has condemned the Ghana Police Service for arresting and maltreating some journalists covering Thursday’s demonstration in Accra. The GJA said per their estimation, the conduct of the Police was highly unprofessional, absolutely unwarranted, and inherently repugnant to press freedom and the dignity of the affected journalists.
A statement signed by General Secretary, Kofi Yeboah, said the GJA is utterly disappointed in the Police for lowering the bar of professionalism by arresting and maltreating journalists who did not breach any law but rather breached their comfort on Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day to discharge their duties. It said investigations show that some journalists, including correspondents of foreign media organisations such as the BBC, AFP, and AP, were arrested in spite of the fact that they properly identified themselves. In other instances, Police seized working equipment of journalists, leaving them traumatised in the process.
The statement further said investigations established that the police officers who effected the arrest did not inform the journalists about their offence except to say they were acting on “orders from above”.
The GJA says it expects an unqualified apology from the Police to assuage the hurt of the innocent journalists in respect of the violation of their human dignity and the unwarranted attack on press freedom. It also expressed shock at the Police statement, which denied the arrest of two BBC Correspondents.
The GJA expresses its heartfelt sympathy to the affected journalists and wish them speedy recovery from the bodily and emotional harm they suffered at the hands of the Police for no crime committed. It encouraged the media fraternity to remain resolute to their calling and ”never be intimidated by such attacks against their person in particular and media freedom in general”.