IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday October 11, 2018

SOMANYA POLICE ASSAULT RITE FM AND RADIO XYZ REPORTERS

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, it is very sad the spate at which press freedom is under severe attack in our country with deliberate neglect by Government to address the issue.

We at United Press for Development Network and Press for Justice Coalition are overwhelmed at the rapid and sudden development of constant violence against Media persons by security agents and fear for the future.

Less than a week, after condemning and demanding for the arrest of culprits in the UDS (Nyankpala campus) attack on media persons on Saturday October 5, we are unfortunately faced again, to condemn the unprovoked, disgraceful and blatant attack launched this afternoon Thursday October 11, 2018 against two hard working and dedicated press men from Rite FM and Radio XYZ, private radio stations in Somanya and Accra respectively by some lawless law officers working with the Ghana Police Service at Somanya.

We understand that, the police rounded some youth amidst Chieftaincy opposition and dispute and as media persons, when they commenced their legitimate work (taking coverage: photo, video and audio recording of the incident), Bernert Yaovi, reporter Radio XYZ and Boafo Eric Tetteh, morning show host, Rite FM who were properly identifiable by way of their Press identification cards worn around their neck were not only arrested and sent to the Somanya Police station but received slaps and beatings (manhandled).

The police were not ready to listen to these members of the forth realm of the estate who loudly indicated that, they were Journalists. Bernert and Eric were finally released with the Police apologizing and offering them GHS20.00 as transportation to go back home or visit the hospital.

It is disheartening to note that, their phones, recorders, wrist watches among others, were all damaged. And they are currently nursing several wounds on their body.

1. We are giving the Somanya Police, forty eight (48) hours to fore mostly render a proper unqualified apology to Rite FM, Radio XYZ and the Media.

2. UPDN and PJC define the act by the Police as gross disrespect of Press Freedom, Human right and the 1992 Constitution of the Republic.

3. This “primitive and senseless” attack on Ghanaian media is a dangerous trend that we cannot accept as a norm.

4. We need the police to immediately fish out culprits of this heinous act to face the full rigors of the laws of the country or face our wrath.

Long live UPDN
Long live PJC
Long live Press Freedom

Signed
………………………
Kofi Asante Mensah
Principal Servant, UPDN
Convener, PJC

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