Ghana UPDATE: Abducted newspaper journalist escapes

Dauda Mohammed, the newspaper photographer who was reportedly abducted on July 12, 2010 by unidentified men for taking pictures of a private mansion of Ghana’s ex- President Jerry John Rawlings reportedly escaped from his abductors, after about an hour’s detention.

Mohammed, a reporter of privately-owned The Insight newspaper, told an Accra-based Joy FM in an interview that as he was taking the pictures, a man wielding a knife emerged from a four wheeled vehicle and ordered him into the car, where three other men were already seated. According to Mohammed, he fled and his abductors pursued and arrested him with the help of another man, who thought he was a thief.

Mohammed said he was hit in the face and taken to an unidentified location, where he was asked about his motive for taking the pictures. Luckily for him, the door was unlocked and he managed to escape.

Following recent claims by Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, wife of the ex-President that the former first family had nowhere to live after their official residence got burnt on February 14, the government and other critics doubted this claim. Mohammed and his other colleague, Duke Tagoe therefore went to investigate the claim that Rawlings and his family could not be homeless since they own private houses.

One of the abductors on July 13 said as a concerned citizen, he arrested Mohammed but did not know that he was a journalist. He said as a loyalist of the former president, he feared Mohammed who was holding a bag could be hiding a weapon with the aim of destroying the mansion.

The Media Foundation for West Africa considered the abduction as example of intolerance. We called on the police to ensure thorough and independent investigation into the crime and bring the perpetrator(s) to justice in the most exemplary manner.

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