The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) condemns in the strongest terms the brutal attack on Latif Iddris a reporter from Joy News, one of the platforms of the Multimedia Group based in Accra.
Latif Iddris had gone to cover protests at the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service on March 27, 2018, where a leading member of Ghana’s main opposition party was being held on treason charges.
The journalist approached one policeman and asked him the name of one of the anti-riot vehicles that had been deployed to control the crowd. To his shock, the innocent question angered the policeman who ordered him to get away. The police officer subsequently grabbed the retreating journalist from behind and slapped him for “asking a stupid question.”
“He then pushed me into a crowd of other police officers who had no clue what had transpired between the two of us but also started beating me up,” Iddris later narrated.
The police officers, now numbering about eight, took turns to assault the journalist. One of them hit him in the rib with a stick; another officer used the butt of his gun to hit his head about three times. Some of the officers also kicked him.
After seven minutes of manhandling, the reporter was rescued by another senior officer. Iddris was rushed to the Light House hospital at North Kaneshie, a suburb of Accra where he received treatment for the swellings on his face and bruises on his body.
The MFWA calls on the leadership of the Ghana Police Service to immediately investigate the incident and bring to book the officers who perpetrated the violent crime against the journalist. We also call on the Ghanaian media and journalists to stand up against acts of violence against colleagues.