Ghana ALERT: Police assault media workers

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Police personnel on August 5, 2008 stormed the premises of Radio Gold, an Accra-based pro- opposition FM station leashing out violence on persons, including a staff of the station and a newspaper graphic designer.
Fred Ayensu Lindsay, the station’s financial controller and Mohammed Caliph, a graphic designer of the Daily Guide, a privately-owned newspaper were assaulted and Lindsey was briefly detained at the Dansoman police station in Accra.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that the incident  occurred after  Radio Gold  had interviewed an activist of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) who some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) brought to the radio station for allegedly engaging in an electoral fraud in the ongoing national voters’ registration exercise.

  The interview had drawn a large crowd to the radio station, including an official of the NPP who was not happy that the suspect was not handed over to the police instead. He then decided to unilaterally turn over the suspect to the police. But this did not go down well with the NDC supporters and resulted in confusion.

The correspondent said it was at this time that the police stormed the station and began beating people indiscriminately. Lindsay who was then speaking on his cell phone was assaulted for allegedly filming the incident, and taken to the police station. Lindsay was later accused of obstructing the work of the police.

The police had since denied that they went to the station to harass the journalists, but had rather detailed to the area because of an armed robbery.
Meanwhile, there has been widespread condemnation of the action of the police.  The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has also appealed to the public to resort to the National Media Commission if they have any grievances they may have with the media.

Media Foundation for West Africa