The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has joined a number of organizations in condemning the brutality meted to Citi FM/Citi TV journalist, Caleb Kudah by national security operatives.
In a statement to express concern over the attack on the journalist and other media personnel, the NCCE said such an assault is in contravention of the constitution, and an affront to media practice in the country.
“We are particularly appalled by the alleged assaults and molestation of Citi FM reporters, Caleb Kudah and Zoe Abu Baidoo Addo in Accra, as well as Peter Tabiri, Western North Correspondent for Pent TV, who was also allegedly assaulted at Asankragua by some operatives of National Security”, it said.
According to the Commission, it is dreadful for security operatives to heavily descend on reporters in this manner.
NCCE urged the government and the security agencies to investigate the attacks and punish the perpetrators.
It said this will ensure order, create and maintain a safe working environment for journalists and the citizenry at large.
“The NCCE is gravely concerned about the invasion of Citi FM premises by armed security men on 11th May 2021. We are worried about the growing sense of media insecurity as more journalists and media practitioners are targeted in their line of duty”, the statement further added.
Touching on the Ministry of National Security’s probe into the Citi FM/Citi TV incident, the NCCE urged that the findings and recommendations of the report would be implemented to discourage future brutalities against Ghanaians, particularly journalists.
“This would stem the tide in the growing cynicism and lack of confidence in Commissions of Enquiry, whose recommendations are often not implemented”, it added.
NCCE, therefore, recommended that the National Media Commission, the Ghana Journalists Association, Media Foundation for West Africa and Civil Society Organizations intensify efforts and collaboration to ensure the preservation of freedom of the press in Ghana.
While condemning the incident, the NCCE also urged journalists to be mindful of the ethics that guide their profession at all times in their line of duty.
About 15 organizations including civil society organizations and political parties, have condemned the incident and backed calls for investigations, whiles calling for reforms in the national security setup.
Citi FM and Citi TV have specifically petitioned the NMC to use its mandate under the constitution that enjoins it to ensure the safety of journalists, to investigate or cause to be investigated the two incidents, and recommend appropriate actions.
Mr. Kudah was arrested at the National Security Ministry on Tuesday for filming abandoned MASLOC vehicles parked at the premises of the Ministry.
He was at the Ministry to verify a claim by an official of MASLOC that all the cars had been given out. This was after Caleb Kudah had complained about the wastage of public funds on social media.
A team of heavily-armed SWAT police officers subsequently were dispatched to arrest Citi News‘ Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo at the premises of Citi FM/Citi TV.
This is because Caleb had forwarded some of the footage he captured to Zoe via WhatsApp.
Mr. Caleb Kudah in an interview with Bernard Avle on The Point Of View on Citi TV indicated that he was slapped several times by the security officers.
He also insisted that he was hit in the groin by one Lieutenant Colonel Agyeman.