Assailants of Photojournalist Must be Prosecuted to Deter Growing Attacks on Ghanaian Media – MFWA

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) condemns the assault on David Andoh, a photojournalist with Joy News at Mantse Agbona, a suburb of Accra on September 10, 2019, and calls on the police to ensure the prosecution of the assailants.

We commend the journalist for reporting the incident to the police and are pleased to learn from the Jamestown District Police Commander, Superintendent Samuel Odame, that James Addo, the Assemblyman who led the assault, has been summoned to appear in Court on September 16, 2019.

Mr Andoh had joined metropolitan health officials and security officers to cover a public health and sanitation enforcement and sensitisation exercise at Mantse Agbona. The photojournalist was filming a scene where food was being sold close to a public latrine when some residents led by the Assemblyman assaulted him. He was hit several times and his camera fell and got damaged.

The assault on Andoh adds to recent incidents of violations against media personnel in the country, with journalists from the Multimedia Group bearing the brunt. On June 23, 2019, soldiers assaulted David Ankomah, a cameraman of Accra-based Joy News while he was covering protests by customers of two investment firms. A soldier also briefly seized Ankomah’s camera.

On October 29, 2018, a security guard of former President, John Mahama assaulted Kwesi Parker Wilson, a reporter of Accra-based Joy FM who was covering the ex-president’s campaign visit to the Pentecost University in Accra.

On August 16, 2018, a group of supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ghana’s main opposition party, attacked a cameraman from Joy News, Jonathan Adjei, injuring him. The assault occurred while Adjei was covering the commissioning of a polyclinic at Sunkwa, a town in the Central region of Ghana.

September 12, 2018: Three workers of a gold dealership firm, Menzgold, manhandled Karen Dodoo of Joy News and snatched the phones and the microphone she was using to interview customers of the East Legon branch of the distressed gold banking firm.

The MFWA is concerned about these attacks on journalists and urges victims of such attacks to report to the police. We also appeal to the police to pursue such cases and ensure that the perpetrators are punished.

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