A group of media activists calling themselves United Press for Development Network (UPDN), has petitioned the Ministry of Information over brutalities against media practitioners in Ghana.
According to the group, the petition is to draw the government’s attention to the harassment of journalists and find ways to stop it.
This forms part of the group’s quest to promote press freedom in Ghana, which has been ranked high on the continent.
Presenting the petition on Friday, 23 November 2018, after a demonstration through some principle streets of Accra, the president of UPDN, Kofi Asante Mensah, called for a swift intervention in eliminating brutality against the press.
Receiving the petition on behalf of the Information Minister, acting Chief Director of the ministry, John Yaw Adjei Appiah, said the concerns of the journalists will be addressed.
In October, a journalist with Accra-based Top FM, Emmanuel Sackey, was assaulted by members of pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) vigilante group, The Hawks.
The alleged assault occurred at Gomoa Fetteh during the election of the party’s Youth and Women Organisers.
Mr Kwesi Parker-Wilson, a journalist with Accra-based Joy FM, was also on Monday, 29 October 2018 assaulted by a member of the security detail of ex-president John Mahama while he was covering the former president’s campaign in the Greater Accra Region.
In March this year, Accra-based Joy News’ Latif Iddris was also subjected to severe beatings at the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service.
Just recently, a journalist in Akwatia in the Eastern Region, Ebenezer Ofori Agyei, was arrested and detained by the police and later arraigned for alleged and impersonation defamation.
These attacks coupled with a lot more in the past, have necessitated the action by members of the UPDN.