Ato Abban and Issac Netty, cameramen of TV3 Network Limited, an independent Accra-based Television, were on December 22, 2007 assaulted by a number of policemen providing security at the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Special Delegate Congress at the University of Ghana.
The Congress was to elect NPP’s Presidential Candidate for the country’s general elections scheduled for December 2008. During the voting process, confusion broke out following an announcement by the National Organizer of the party that a supporter of one of the aspirants, Alan Kyeremanten, was sharing money to influence the decisions of some of the delegates.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent reported that in the wake of the confusion, a large crowd thronged to the voting area, and the policemen fearing the crowd might disrupt the process cordoned the area. The policemen ordered the crowd including the journalists, who had set up their equipment and were broadcasting the event live, to leave the area.
Abban told the correspondent that in their attempt to reposition their equipment, the policemen pushed them away and in the process Nettey fell. Abban also narrated how the police used their electronic gadgets to apply electric shocks to their (cameramen) bodies. They then attempted seizing Abban’s camera thereby bringing transmission to a halt for a few minutes.
In another development, Israel Laryea, a journalist of Joy FM, an Accra-based private radio station, was also harassed while covering the same elections live on radio. Laryea was heard on air saying “…are you preventing me from doing my job?” he asked.
MFWA has learnt that a Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service later rendered apologies to the journalists on behalf of the police.
Kwame Karikari, Prof.
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