The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) calls on the National Identification Authority (NIA) to investigate and redress the reported attack on reporter Elvis Washington and cameraman, Edward Twum, both from the Accra-based Citi TV.
Washington and Twum were on July 5, 2019, covering proceedings at the Mataheko registration centre of the national identification project in the Ningo-Prampram district of the Greater Accra Region when they were accosted by some officials of the NIA. The officials were angry that the journalists were interviewing frustrated applicants who were standing in long queues.
“From nowhere, some of the workers of the NIA started assaulting my cameraman, asking him to stop filming,” Elvis Washington narrated.
Four men identified as NIA staff scuffled with the cameraman, trying to seize or destroy the camera, while a security officer on duty at the centre immediately stopped the reporter from going to the rescue of his colleagues. Twum emerged from the attack with bruises on his wrist and has reported the assault to the Police.
This incident is the second press freedom violation in Ghana in eight days. On June 27, national security operatives raided the offices of Modernghana.com, a private online media outlet and arrested two of its journalists over a critical article about the Minister for National Security. The journalists reported that they were tortured in detention.
The MFWA is deeply concerned about these violations and call for thorough investigations into the assault and the appropriate legal action against the culprits. We also urge the government to call all actors to respect and protect press freedom in Ghana.