Accra, Jan. 16, GNA – The Independent Progressive Movement, expected to be transformed into Progressive People’s Party (PPP) on Monday called on the President to investigate the alleged assault on a journalist by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
Ms Gifty Lawson, a photo journalist with Daily Guide was allegedly beaten up on January 12 by BNI operatives while carrying out her legitimate duties at Accra High Court.
A statement issued by the PPP in Accra asked President John Evans Atta Mills and the national security agencies to offer unconditional apology to the lady, and Ghanaians for the unprofessional manner with which the BNI operatives conducted themselves.
“The culprits must be punished to serve as deterrent to others,” Paa Kow Ackon, Spokesman for the political body said in the statement.
“Ghana is recognised as beacon of democracy and safe place for free press within the international community and we must not allow …few miscreants to take us back into the dark days of the past. The government must demonstrate valour and the enthusiasm to deal with all manner of lawlessness by providing satisfactory security for all Ghanaians.”
The statement condemned the embarrassment and instantaneous justice meted out to some journalists BNI operatives.
“We are particularly unhappy with the way and manner the photo journalist was allegedly assaulted and stripped by BNI operatives when she tried to take a photograph of a police suspect, Deputy Superintendent of Police Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda who had been brought to court in connection with the controversial cocaine, which turned into baking soda story.
“We are disappointed that people who are supposed to know better would take the law into their own hands and behave as if there is no law or leader in this country. The heartless treatment exhibited by the BNI operatives on the Daily Guide reporters should not be countenanced by President Mills or any other person who knows that the sovereignty of Ghana resides in the people of Ghana in whose welfare the powers of government are to be exercised in the manner and within the limits laid down in the Constitution.
“It is rather unfortunate that the media that are supposed to be the mast of our democratic test can become victim of such lawless behaviour. Those expected to protect the people cannot become the perpetrators of such anarchy. Our concern is not only about the absolute violation of the rights of the journalists but the treacherous precedence these illegalities represents for our political future.
“We do not want to believe that this unjustifiable disregard for the rights of Ghanaians is a striking political strategy by the ruling government to establish some authority in the political scene. We do not want to remind people about the regrettable incidents that have taken place in this country since 1992. Is there any leadership at all in this country? Where is the promise of ’I care for you’?,” the statement said.
“As an incoming political party, our fear is that such lawlessness could jeopardise our justice system, intimidate journalists from performing their duty as the Fourth Estate of the Realm and finally force people not to have confidence in the law enforcement agencies and by extension the political parties.