According to SEND Ghana, it has followed media reports with a keen interest in the alleged inflammatory comment by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, against a Kumasi-based journalist working for the Multimedia Group.
The MP, who is also the Chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defense and Interior, is alleged to have incited the public against the journalist Erastus Asare Donkor, in a live television program and called for the latter to be beaten mercilessly.
“This boy should be beaten seriously. He is so annoying. We should beat the hell out of him,” the MP reportedly said.
“SEND Ghana is of the view that such abusive comments attributed to the honorable MP not only constitute threats to the life of the journalist but also, have the potency of undermining Ghana’s democratic credentials and an affront to press freedom,” it stated.
Meanwhile, SEND Ghana was pleased to learn that the Multimedia Group has since filed a formal complaint and petitioned relevant authorities to investigate the issue while asking for state security and protection for the journalist.
“We extend our support to the media group and join hands with well-meaning Ghanaians, International Organizations, and Civil Society in demanding a prompt resolution to this grave matter from institutions of the state. We urge the security agencies and Parliament, in particular, to expedite investigations into the alleged conduct of the MP and exact the appropriate sanctions,” it stated.
Send Ghana further called on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to honour his pledge to “defend the right of the media to free expression and promote accountable governance”, by creating a safe environment for journalists to practice without fear of intimidation.
It added that,” If our democracy must advance, freedom and independence of the media must be guaranteed as enshrined in the 1992 fourth republican constitution.”
SEND Ghana continued that, “It is noteworthy that Ghana ranked low on the 2021 World Press Freedom Index compared to previous years while maintaining its 30th position in 2020. A report by the Reporters Without Borders attributed the country’s low ranking to the failure of the state to deal with the growing threats on the lives of journalists.”
“We wish to caution that Ghana risk rolling back further if we allow needless and unwarranted attacks on journalists especially, by public officials with impunity in the exercise of their profession,” SEND Ghana added. Read Full Story