Ghana ALERT: Police manhandle journalists and briefly detain them

Two journalists of privately-owned Accra-based newspapers were violently attacked by armed policemen on the night of January 19, 2008.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an investigative journalist of the Crusading Guide, and Halifax Ansah-Addo, reporter of the Daily Guide were beaten, paraded along side suspected criminals, and detained for about twenty minutes at the Police Headquarters, before being released.

Ansah-Addo’s digital camera was smashed to the ground. The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that at about 2300 Hours GMT, the journalists went to a popular spot in an Accra suburb to cover a police swoop to clamp down on the activities of suspected prostitutes, when they were attacked.
The correspondent said the police swoop was a result of an investigation by Anas who had produced a video recording of the prostitution activities. It was based on this recording that police stormed the place.

Ansah-Addo, who reported the incident in the Daily Guide told the MFWA correspondent that even revealing their identities as journalists was not enough to convince the two policemen to stop maltreating them.
He said following the beating, his nose bled profusely, while Anas had a swollen face. The two journalists were made to sit on the floor with the suspects, and made to put their hands on their heads for about thirty minutes. They were later whisked away to the Police Headquarters and detained briefly.

The MFWA later learnt that it took the intervention of some senior policemen to arrange for their release. The police have since apologized to the journalists.

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