Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Chief Executive Officer, Global Media Foundation (GloMeF), Sunyani-based human rights and anti-corruption media non-governmental organisation, has implored journalists to identify and help in minimizing human rights violations in mining communities.
He reminded media practitioners and institutions in the country of their responsibility to give voice to the voiceless and seek the interest and general well-being of particularly, the vulnerable and the minority in the society.
Mr Ahenu made the appeal in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in the wake of the arrest and detention of some members of the Ahafo Concerned Farmers Association, a minority group of farmers within the Newmont Ahafo North project enclave in the Tano North Municipality of the Ahafo Region.
The Tano North Police arrested and detained four persons of the Association who attempted to protect their farms and properties around the Newmont Ahafo North project site from destruction by the mining company.
Generally, the Association is made up of 84 members whose farms and properties have been directly or indirectly affected by the operations of the Mine.
But the company, Newmont Ahafo North Mine has since denied its involvement in the arrest and detention of the affected farmers who are currently on self-recognizance bail.
“We should not forget that we are accountable to society, and it’s our constitutional obligation to provide a voice for the voiceless in society. If we deny the voiceless the voice then we are limiting our standards as media professionalism,” he stated.
Mr Ahenu said solution-based journalism required that the media highlight and help tackle the development deficit in mining communities.
He expressed discontent that though Ghana had mined for centuries, many mining communities were still lagging in development because the media had “only put their lenses on” and thereby projecting the activities of mining companies, at the expense of the affected
Mr Ahenu commended “some few” journalists and human right activists who have dedicated their professional careers to pushing for the interest of the minority in society.