The Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, on Thursday, July 7, 2022, posed a question to the Information Minister seeking to find out about the measures that have been put in place to safeguard media freedom in the country.
This follows Ghana’s reduction in Press Freedom in recent times from 26th position in 2016 to 60th position in global rankings, and from 1st position to 10th position in Africa.
According to the Madina MP, “democracy hinges on accountability and good governance. Accountable governance means the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s governance decisions and actions. This implies the conscious decision to empower agencies of accountability and subjecting the governance decisions to public scrutiny on high moral and ethical standards and honesty for public life. Unfortunately, this has been visibly missing in the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led government for the past 5 years.”
The Madina MP further said, “As a country, we know from experiences and the example of other countries that unchecked violence against journalists emboldens attackers and undermines freedom of the media. The time is ripe to ensure maximum protection of journalists and indeed for Press freedom as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, among others.”
It has been over two years since investigative reporter, Ahmed Suale, was shot and killed in broad daylight in Accra, with the perpetrators yet to be captured.
He had been a lead investigator for Tiger Eye Private Investigations. A year after the murder, Modern Ghana editor Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri and reporter Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum were abducted from their offices and detained by national security officials, who searched their phones and laptops in an attempt to determine the source of a story about the national security boss.
By 2019, the Media Foundation for West Africa recorded over 31 attacks on 40 journalists over an 18-month period.
Also, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Citi Fm/TV reporter, Caleb Kudah, was assaulted by officials at the Ministry of National Security following his arrest and detention for filming vehicles at the premises of the Ministry.
More recently, at about 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 13, 2022, ten masked armed men attacked Radio Ada FM over coverage of mining deal.