Government has expressed concern about the increasing reported attacks on journalists and suggestions that they may be related to their work.
Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Monday 8th July 2019 in Accra condemned all forms of attack and assault on journalists and disclosed that government is working with media stakeholders to define a mechanism to better protect journalists.
Commenting on the recent ModenGhana journalists’ incident, Mr. Nkrumah told Accra-based Citi FM the government was expecting the Police to carry on with its investigation on both the alleged crime committed by the two men and claims of torture and abuse by National Security officers.
While commending journalists in the country for their contributions for nation building, the Information Minister also insisted that there is the need to “define a proper mechanism for independently validating future claims to avert situations of contradictory reports” while allowing for accurate classification of which issues qualify as attacks on journalists.
Meanwhile, an Accra High court has discharged the two modern Ghana journalists who were charged with stealing by the state, after they detained and allegedly tortured by the national security.
The court made the decision after the state withdrew its interest in the matter. The state made its decision known to the court through Senior State Attorney, Stella Ohene Appiah.
Meanwhile, lawyers for one of the journalists, who maintains he was tortured by the national security, have hinted they will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.
Editor of ModernGhana, Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri has recounted how he and his colleagues were detained and abused by officials of the national security.
Abugri has said that he was tortured and beaten by National Security operatives while in detention following a raid of their office and their subsequent arrest.
Mr Abugri, who was released on Saturday, 29 June 2019, said he was not spared by his captors who, he claimed took turns to hit and taser him.
However, the National Security said there was no physical abuse on the suspect.
“The National Security Council Secretariat has taken notice of reports that Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, one of the two suspects from Modern Ghana who was arrested for engaging in cyber-crimes, has made claims of being subjected to acts of torture whilst in the custody of its officers.
“The Secretariat takes a very serious view of these claims, and wishes to state, in no uncertain terms that these allegations are false. We consider it to be a clear and deliberate attempt by the suspect to discredit the investigations and the case against him. Torture and manhandling of suspects are not part and parcel of the culture and architecture of the secretariat under the administration of President Akufo-Addo,” a statement from National Security said.