NDC Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fusieni, has called for thorough and independent investigations into circumstances that led to the assault of a journalist by a member of former President Mahama’s security detail.
The Joy FM reporter, Kwesi Parker Wilson, was slapped by the bodyguard, during Former President Mahama’s five-day tour of the Greater Accra Region ahead of the NDC’s presidential primary in December.
The journalist was said to have been assaulted for disregarding the directives of the security detail.
Speaking to Citi News, the Member of Parliament told Citi News the action of the security detail is unacceptable.
“To assault a journalist without just cause is totally unacceptable, and that is why we should condemn what happened to Kwesi Parker Wilson and any other journalist. I want the former President to have a thorough investigation into this matter and if it is established that it was one of his security details who assaulted the journalist, that person must be sacked and handed over to the police,” he said.
The office of former President John Mahama, which has apologized for the incident, has already noted that investigations are ongoing into the matter.
On March 27, 2018, another multimedia journalist, Latif Iddrisu, was brutally beaten to near death at the headquarters of the Ghana Police Service.
The journalist was not beaten by thugs, but by police personnel, the same people he would have had to run to if he had been attacked by hoodlums.
The vicious and shameful attack on Mr. Iddrisu is not an isolated incident. It adds to a tall list of 11 other incidents of attacks involving a total of 16 other journalists in Ghana in the last 15 months alone.
Sadly, security agencies and especially the police have been among the leading perpetrators of attacks against journalists.
Eleven incidents of attacks on journalists from January 2017 to March 2018
1.February 27, 2017 – Kotoko Express Reporter Attacked: A photojournalist of the Asante Kotoko Expressnewspaper, GideonBotchway was subjected to physical abuse by a fan and a steward of Ashgold football club in Obuasi during a match between Ashgold and Asante Kotoko.
2. March 5, 2017– Photo Journalist Attacked, Expelled from Stadium: Officials of Accra Great Olympics attacked a photojournalist, Senyuidzorm Adadevor, at the Accra Sports Stadium during the Accra Great Olympics-WAFA football match.
3. March 6, 2017 – Soldiers attack a freelance journalist: Soldiers attacked a freelance journalist, Kendrick Ofei during Ghana’s 60th Independence Day celebration at the Independence Square in Accra.
4. June 27, 2017 – Journalist Physically Attacked, Equipment Seized. A journalist, Isaac Nsiah Foster with Otec FM in Kumasi was attacked by workers at a construction site where he had gone to investigate complaints by local residents about the siting of a project meant for a fuel station
5. July 2, 2017 – TV3 Crew Attacked: A three-member crew from TV (Myepaul Sowah, Richmond Tanoh and Peter Asare were assaulted by some suspected land guards while investigating encroachment on a piece of public land at Teshie, Accra.
6. July 3, 2017 Photojournalist Assaulted, Camera Destroyed: Some supporters of Asante Kotoko football club attacked a photojournalist with Hearts News,a bi-weekly published by Accra Hearts of Oak Football Club during a ceremonial match between the two clubs. The hooligans also seized the camera of the victim, Daniel Anane Boakye-Yiadom and destroyed it.
7. October 10, 2017- Chief Assaults Journalist over WhatsApp Criticism: The Omanhene of the Wassa Akropong, Tetre Akuamoah Sekyim II, forced Larry Saint, a journalist with Rivers FM, to kneeling the sun for hours for criticizing him on WhatsApp.
8. October 18, 2017 – Newspaper Office Attacked by Rampaging Youth: A group of irate youth calling themselves Kumasi Youth Association (KuYA), attacked the regional office of the Daily Guide newspaper, in Kumasi Kumasi, over publications carried by the newspaper on Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
9. Dec 2, 2017 – Thugs Storm Radio Justice, Attack Presenter. Thugs stormed the studio of Radio Justice, based in Tamale, and assaulted the presenter of a programme and his three panellists, disrupting the live broadcast in the process. The attackers injured the presenter, Yunus Yiripha, and vandalized the console, microphones, computers and furniture.
10. December 21, 2017 – NPP Security Guards Physically Assault Journalists: Four journalists were physically attacked by some security officers manning the NPP party Headquarters in Accra. The four journalists from TV3, Citi FM and Ghanaweb.com were brutalised by the security guards for covering a protest at the premises of the party headquarters
11. February 23, 2018 – Police Brutalise Journalist: Christopher Kevin Asima, a presenter of A1 Radio in Bolgatanga, was attacked by police while he was covering a fire outbreak incident.
Sadly, from all the incidents listed above and several others, no perpetrators have been punished. At best, the cases dies with time after several assurances by the police.