Yaa Hammond, (journalist), Kingsley Acheampong (cameraman), Suleiman Awudu (soundman) and Douglas Kofi Benyin (driver), of privately-owned TV Africa were on March 7, 2014, detained by some security personnel at Adjei Kojo, a suburb of Accra, Ghana’s capital.
A. C. Ohene, head of news and current affairs of TV Africa told MFWA the crew had gone to the area to do a follow-up on a demolition exercise that was undertaken some weeks ago.
He said upon seeing the crew with their branded vehicle, the security personnel questioned them on why they had come to the site. They then searched them, seized their camera, wrist watches, mobile phones and detained them at a camp they had pitched at the demolition site.
They were released after two hours and their wrist watches and mobile phones given to them without the camera.
According to Ohene, on March 10, he accompanied the crew to the site to retrieve the seized camera. One Colonel Nibo and Colonel Ahadzie deleted the video footage of the site the crew had captured on the camera before giving it to them.
Meanwhile the station has filed a complaint at the country’s statutory media regulating body, the National Media Commission (NMC) against the treatment meted out to the crew. “We are asking the NMC to ask the National Security to render an unqualified apology to us. We think this attack on TV Africa is an attack on press freedom”, he added.
The MFWA is worried about the sudden rise in attacks on journalists and media organisations by security personnel and individuals in Ghana. We urge the public and security operatives to recognise the important role the media plays and desist from attacking them when they are performing their professional duties.
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