GJA calls for punishment of soldiers involved in two assault cases

The Victim Samuel Adobah
The Victim Samuel Adobah

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has called on the Military Authorities to initiate a probe into two alleged assault incidents on two journalists by some soldiers.

It also called on the Military Authorities to investigate the two cases expeditiously for the culprits to face the full rigors of the law.

A statement issued and signed by Mr Kofi Yeboah, General Secretary of the GJA, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday, condemned the alleged assaults by the soldiers against the two journalists; Mr Samuel Adobah, a TV Africa Reporter; and Mr Yussif Abdul Ganiyu, a Correspondent of Deutsche Welle, in the line of duty.

Mr Adobah was alleged to have been assaulted by one Damfour, a Soldier with ‘Operation Calm Life’, at Olebu in the Ga Central Municipality in the Greater Accra Region, where the former was covering a fire outbreak incident on Good Friday.

The second incident, involving Mr Ganiyu occurred at Akrem in the Asokore Mampong Municipality in the Ashanti Region.
The reporter was said to be conducting an interview outside Saint Patrick Hotel when he was assaulted by a soldier identified as 2nd Lieutenant Betrot Ampoma.

The statement described the two assault cases as highly unprofessional and a stain on the image of the military institution held in high esteem due to their renown in various peacekeeping operations across the world.

It said the latest incident was particularly unfortunate as it happened barely 24 hours after the President had delivered his broadcast to the nation on COVID-19 Update 6, in which he had called on the security agencies enforcing the law on lockdown to refrain from human rights abuses.

“We find the actions of the soldiers unwarranted, arbitrary and barbaric. It is in this light that we urge the Military Authorities to fish out the culprits for sanctions in order to redeem its image from the damage caused by the unprofessional conduct of the soldiers in question.

“We wish to reiterate that in a democratic dispensation, the rule of law must prevail and be upheld at all times. There are better and more civil ways to enforce the law on lockdown than the resort to brute force,” it said.
The statement said the GJA is also exploring legal options to find justice for the aggrieved journalists.

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