Mr Muheeb Saeed, Senior Programmes Officer for Freedom of Expression, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), says the lack of prosecution of persons who attacked media personnel and media houses is fueling such attacks in the country.
Speaking to alleged attack on Elmina-based radio station, Benya FM Station Monday evening over discussions on premix fuel, he said many people were encouraged to attack Journalists and media houses because perpetrators were always left off the hook.
Mr Saeed explained that because perpetrators were not penalised in the past, others were encouraged to tread the path, and sometimes the media, their owners and victims got discouraged by the lack of prosecution in the past, and failed to report or pursue the case.
Mr Saeed, who said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, noted that the media had a constitutional role to play in democracy of, which part charged them to discuss development issues and challenges that affected the daily lives of people.
He said fishing and distribution of premix fuel was certainly one of the most serious issues affecting the people in Elmina, hence the media could only be hailed for bringing it to light for intervention through an impactful public service and not to be subjected to unlawful attacks.
“We have contacted the Police, they’ve confirmed having received an official report from the Radio Station and are investigating the matter.
“Therefore, we commend management of Benya FM for reporting the issue, and we encourage them to follow up and urge the Police to also ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and brought to justice,” he stated.
Mr Saeed admonished law enforcement agencies to take such attacks seriously and pursue them to their logical conclusion.
He made reference to a similar attack that had happened earlier this year at Radio Ada, in Ada, following discussions on the salt industry and contracts that had been awarded for mining of salt in that community and said such attacks must stop.
The Elmina Police are after some three persons suspected to have attacked the Benya FM Station over fishing and premix fuel discussions.
Mr Blessing Eshun, the Programmes Host, who was assaulted, told the Ghana News Agency that he suspected the perpetrators were unhappy about the programme, which highlighted some corrupt practices in the distribution of premix fuel in the area.
He said the Station got information that some people who were not fishers were benefiting from premix fuel at the expense of seasoned fishers.
He said during the fishers’ programme on Monday evening, those concerns were raised for redress but before the programme could end, the Station was attacked and consoles, microphones, tables, computers and furniture were vandalised.
Mr Kweku Kaunda, the Programmes Manager of the Station, said the host was brutally assaulted, kicked and knocked several times, leaving him in pain.
Police sources said no one had been arrested and that investigations were ongoing.