The Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has condemned the assault on three reporters of the Ghanaian Times by personnel of the Ghana Police Service, describing it as a “heinous crime”.
According to the Commission, the assault on the journalists is a clear case of human rights violation, adding that the victims should all be compensated.
In a press statement, the Commission stated that although it has had cause to caution the Ghana Police Service multiple times with regards to cases of brutalities involving its officers, those warnings have fallen on deaf ears.
CHRAJ also called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. David Asante Appeatu to carry out a thorough investigation is conducted into the matter and ensure the perpetrators are made to face the full rigours of the law.
“The Commission further recommends that the victims should also be compensated for the injuries, trauma and losses suffered.”
“In this regard, the Commission calls on the Inspector General of Police to conduct thorough investigations into this matter, and on the basis of the findings, crack the whip and deal with the perpetrators of this heinous crime in accordance with the law.”
CHRAJ, in the statement signed by its Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Whittal, also recommended the prosecution of the culprits to serve as a deterrent for other recalcitrant police officers.
“The Commission recommends prosecution of these errant police officers in a court of competent jurisdiction and not to put them through administrative Service disciplinary enquiry to serve as deterrent to others and to reassure Ghanaians that police officers are not above the law.”
The Commission also called on the public to report cases of police brutality whenever such incidents occur.
They also called on civil society organizations, religious organizations and other state institutions to join voices to speak against incidences of police brutality, further appealing to citizens to be law-abiding even as they enjoy their rights, privileges and freedom provided by the constitution.
“The CHRAJ urges the general public to report incidences of police brutality whenever they occur, and also calls on Civil Society Organisations, religious bodies, and other relevant institutions to come out and condemn this barbaric act in no uncertain terms.”
“The Commission however, encourages and appeals to the citizenry to be law abiding as they enjoy their rights and freedoms with caution, ensuring that they operate within the structures of the law.”
We’re investigating assault on Ghanaian Times reporters – Police
The Police administration on Friday also disclosed that they have commenced investigations into the assault om the three Ghanaian Times journalists.
ACP David Eklu, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service in an interview on Eyewitness News said that the matter has come to the attention of the police and they have been working on it since Thursday.
ACP David Eklu told host of the show, Umaru Sanda Amadu, that the suspect at the centre of the incident has been identified and a statement has been taken from him, as well as other police officers and non-officers who were at the scene at the time of the incident.
“We have been working on it since Thursday when it came up…There are two aspects of the case. It was a traffic incident that led to this scuffle so the traffic incident has also been reported at the MTTD at the Ministries Police station so that aspect is also being handled.”
“The Police officer has been identified and has given his statement. The other police officers who witnessed this thing have also given their statement. There were other non-police officers who have also given their statements. Because of the pain that the two journalists suffered, we have given them time to go and seek medical attention after that they will give their statements then we can continue with the investigations.”
GJA also condemns assault
The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has condemned the alleged assault as well.
Raissa Sambo was taken to the Ridge Hospital after she was reportedly assaulted by a police officer with the motor transport department around the Kinbu Lorry Park in Accra on Thursday.
The other reporters, Malik Suleman and Salifu Abdul Rahman are assisting the police in their investigations.
The police officer reportedly rammed his unregistered motorbike into the car in which the journalists were.
Upon inquest by the journalists, the police officer took offence and reportedly attacked them.
“The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) condemns in no uncertain terms an alleged assault of three reporters of Ghanaian Times by a police officer in Accra Thursday, March 14, 2019. The reporters are Malik Sulemana, Salifu Abdul Rahman and Raissa Sambou Ebu. We call on the Police Administration to undertake swift investigations into the incident and, for once, punish the perpetrators of such heinous crime.”
Assault on Journalists
The Journalists were reported to have been travelling in their official vehicle to their various assigned venues when they decided to film an accident involving a police officer riding an unregistered motorcycle and the vehicle in which they were travelling at Kinbu in Accra Central.
Ten police officers, who were unhappy about the filming and ensuing exchanges between the journalists’ driver and the police motor rider, and in attempt to cease the recording device, pounced on the journalists and assaulted them.
One of the Journalists, a lactating mother who had her baby through a caesarean section, was hit in the lower abdomen, collapsed, andwas rushed to the emergency Unit of the Ridge Hospital while the others were again manhandled by the police.
By: Jude Mensa Duncan | citinewsroom.com | Ghana | [email protected]