The Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), has expressed shock at the arrest and detention of the Deputy Editor of an online news Portal Modern Ghana, Ajarfor Abugri, and another journalist.
A statement signed by the Executive Secretary of PRINPAG, Kenteman Nii Laryea Sowah, said operatives from the National Security in Mufti without badges or arrest warrants allegedly stormed offices of Modern Ghana arrested the Editor and another and asked that one of the Portal’s editors, whose name was given as Adjafour, should step out of the office building for a friendly chat.
After he obliged, he realized that the men who neither had badges nor any warrant whatsoever, intend to arrest him.
Adjafour as a matter of precaution decided to retreat to the office door and this led to a scuffle.
The National security operatives are alleged to have roughly bundled him into a waiting vehicle.
It said heavily armed Police personnel subsequently invaded the news media’s office building and carried away computers.
PRINPAG said, after making contacts with the National security Minister, a delegation from the Association was directed to the command center of the national security outfit which the two gentlemen were being kept.
Upon reaching the command center, the PRINPAG Executives were told the senior officers in charge had gone home and that they could not be allowed to speak with their detained colleagues without their permission.
It noted that the Minister assured the delegation that the two journalists would be released by close of Friday 28th June and have since not been released.
PRINPAG said in its interaction with the Minister, Ken Dapaah said the two journalists were being held for allegedly hacking into the online servers of their competitors and that they have been under the national security radar for a while.
PRINPAG noted that National Security unduly kept the journalists in detention for such a long time without following due process.
In this regard, it called on the National Security to ensure that due process is followed while they undertake any legitimate investigations. It also called on National security to avoid or refrain from actions or inactions that does not protect and guarantee the safety of journalists in the country while ensuring it treats media practitioners and all other Ghanaians with dignity and within the confines of civility.