Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has called for the removal of the GJA President, Affail Monney.
According to the group, the Association’s President has exhibited lack of solidarity following the assault of a journalist, Caleb Kudah, by National Security operatives.
In a press statement signed by the Executive Director of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson has blatantly condemned comments from Mr. Monney. He revealed that, Mr. Monney claimed Caleb Kudah breached the GJA Code of Ethics by filming at the National Security Ministry.
“They must call for the immediate withdrawal or removal of Mr. Affail Monney as their president. So that, the GJA can show solidarity to their compatriots who were assaulted”.
“We’re so disgusted with the comments of the GJA president in the midst of this brutality and assault on journalists. For the GJA president to go on radio and say that the journalists breached the code of ethics of the GJA and so the attacks on them, however bizarre they were, were warranted, I think is very unfortunate. It’s certainly not good for the victims especially at the time, where you expect the GJA to rally behind these journalists, give them the maximum protection and solidarity that you’d expect.”
Assault of journalists in the country
Additionally, ASEPA further described Affail Monney’s comments as “reckless display of cowardice and individualism”. He further averred that Mr. Monney also failed to uphold and protect the interests of all journalists in the country.
To this end, the group believes the comments of Affail Monney only encourages further abuse of journalists in their line of duty to the citizenry by security agencies.
“Mr. Monney has since not been able to justify his claim of the violation of their Code of Ethics or any criminal code of the State which the Journalist had violated which warranted the actions of the operatives.
“Secondly, whatever Code of Ethics Mr. Monney was referring to is also subservient to the Constitution of the Land. Our criminal statutes and any other enactment of Parliament and for which reason its violation should not attract this level of response from the so-called National Security or any other security agency.”
Arrest and assault of Caleb Kudah
Mr. Caleb Kudah was arrested at the National Security Ministry on Tuesday, for filming abandoned MASLOC vehicles parked at its premises. He was later brutalised by the security officers.
Following this, a team of heavily-armed police officers subsequently attempted to detain his colleague, Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo. The officers asserted that, Caleb had forwarded some of the footage he captured to Zoe via WhatsApp.
Reacting to this, Executive Secretary of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson, in an interview condemned the action “unequivocally” by the National Security operatives. He explained that, the officers should be more decorous in their dealing with media folks who flout the law.
“We entreat the police to adopt more civil means of dealing with the media when they fall short of the law. We don’t want this whole negative publicity. All these things go a long way to affect our media freedom rankings; and also our human rights indices as well”.