A social action group, OneGhana Movement is not enthused by the alleged attack, intimidation and torture of some two journalists of online news portal, modernghana.com by officials of the National Security.
“We condemn in no uncertain terms the torture of these journalists. We also condemn the disturbing trend of threats, intimidation and attacks which do not only leave journalists feeling unprotected and vulnerable, but also feeds into the degenerating global outlook for press freedom in Ghana,” OneGhana Movement said in a statement.
The journalists, Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri and Emmanuel Britwum, were picked up by the National Security last Thursday.
They claimed that they were tortured and assaulted by National Security operatives.
The move has been widely condemned with the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) threatening to take legal action against the National Security.
Earlier reports suggested that the two journalists were picked up for allegedly hacking content of other competing media organisations but according to the journalists, such claim never came up during their detention and interrogation at the National Security Secretariat.
OneGhana Movement in its statement said the action by the National Security breaches Article 162 (4) of the Constitution which states that “Editors and publishers of newspapers and other institutions of the mass media shall not be subject to control or interference by Government, nor shall they be penalized or harassed for their editorial opinions and views, or the content of their publications.”
“It is totally unacceptable that in the 21st Century and in the 17th year of the 4th Republic of Ghana, journalists are captured with black polythene bags over their heads, sent to a location unknown to them and subjected to long hours of torture by electric shock and physical brutality over publications on their platform, in clear contravention of Article 162 of the constitution.”
The social action group in the statement signed by its Executive Director, Emily Kanyir Nyuur, among other things called for a probe into the matter.
“The National Security Minister should as a matter of urgency, thoroughly investigate this inhumane canker within his rank and file and bring the perpetrators to justice. Failure to do so should result in him tendering his resignation.”
“Government should then commission an independent investigation into the reports of torture of the ModernGhana journalists, and ensure that investigations are conducted thoroughly, impartially and promptly to serve as a deterrent.”
The group urged government to ensure that any security operative found culpable should be “held accountable for their involvement in the attacks.”
ModernGhana journalists were not tortured
Meanwhile, the National Security Council has rejected claims that the reporters were physically assaulted during interrogation.
The Council in a statement also said one of the reporters will be put before court today, Tuesday, July 2, 2019.
“…the suspect will be arraigned before court on Tuesday, 2nd July 2019 and the charges proffered against him will be made known.”