The Alliance for Social Equity & Public Accountability (ASEPA), has requested for a report from the National Security Ministry on its investigations into the arrest and alleged assault of two journalists of ModernGhana in 2019.
According to ASEPA, the journalists were abducted and sent to the National Security premises. However, two years later, the reason for their presence there remains “sketchy”, with alleged report on assault in custody.
Contained in a press statement, ASEPA believes the National Security Ministry should have completed its report on the assault. It further revealed that, the Minister for Information then promised to act based on the outcome on investigation. However, there hasnt been much commentary on the matter since then.
“In 2019, two journalists from ModernGhana were abducted from their offices, sent to the premises of national security…
“The Ministry in an official statement denied the assault and promised to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
” At least for two years; we believe it is considered enough time for the National Security to complete any such investigations into the matter; and produce an official report”.
RTI law exemptions
Additionally, the accountability group insists its requested information will not in any way jeopardize national security. It, therefore, asked the National Security Ministry to provide the report within seven (7) days.
“We would therefore be glad if the Ministry can furnish us with a copy of the above-named report within 7 working days.
“Any cost in respect of this request; would be borne by us accordingly. Kindly send us your payment information if any to enable us to make any payment in respect of this request if applied.”
Arrest of journalists
In 2019, two journalists from ModernGhana were accused of cybercrime targeting media houses and corporate organizations. The government accused the two journalists of hacking into emails and servers of competing websites. It further suggested that, the journalists hacked and newsrooms and intercept stories for their own use.
Following reports of the arrest of two reporters, several groups mounted pressure for the release of the journalists. The groups includeJournalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) and the Ghana WASH Journalists Network (GWJN). In separate statements, the two condemned the purported detention of the journalists.
Personnel who identified themselves as operatives from the National Security reportedly arrested the two journalists without any proper explanation, according to the groups.
The JBA in its statement demanded a “stop [to] violence against journalism and journalists by the security agencies and ensure a safe working environment for journalists and freedom of speech in the country.”
“We also call on the government, the National Media Commission (NMC), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and Civil Societies to take these outrageous violations seriously. We reiterate our call to all parties involved to enforce the constitutional rights of journalists in this country to end the unnecessary attacks”.
The GWJN also described the security personnel’s methods as crude.