The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) condemns in the strongest terms the raid carried out on the offices of ModernGhana.com on June 27, 2019, by men who described themselves as National Security Operatives, and demands the immediate release of the arrested journalists of the online media outfit.
The Editor of ModernGhana.com, William Nana Beeko, who confirmed the raid to MFWA, said the intruders did not present any warrant, adding that they seized laptops from the media organisation and arrested his deputy editor, Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, as well as Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum, a reporter.
Nana Beeko believes the action is linked to a critical article his outfit published about the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, and the ruling party’s Member of Parliament for Effutu constituency, Alexander Afenyo-Markin.
The Chief Executive Officer of ModernGhana.com, Bright Owusu, has also told the MFWA that he does not know where his arrested staff are being held and has not been able to reach them because their phones had been seized.
The continued detention of the journalists in an unknown location is a violation of their rights and the whole incident casts a slur on Ghana’s press freedom credentials as a country where the state generally refrains from interfering in the media.
The MFWA therefore calls on the Minister of National Security and the National Security Coordinator to clarify the motive and circumstances surrounding the raid, who the perpetrators are and whether they were officially mandated to carry out the operation.
We also urge the Management of ModernGhana.com to report the matter to the police for investigations and possible prosecution of the perpetrators should they be found to be impersonators or to have acted independently.