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Attacks on journalists: We’re pushing for stiffer punishment for perpetrators, says Fatimatu Abubakar

Over the past five years, from 2019 to 2023, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has documented a total of 45 cases of assault and attacks against journalists and media institutions

The Minister of Information, Fatimatu Abubakar has said government is pushing for stiffer punishment for persons who attack journalists in their line of duty.

Over the past five years, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has documented a total of 45 cases of assault and attacks against journalists and media institutions.

The year 2023 alone witnessed the highest number of cases per year, with four cases reported in October.

This disturbing trend underscores the urgent need for intervention to protect media freedom in Ghana.

Speaking during a working visit to Asaase Broadcasting Company Ltd on Wednesday (21 May), Abubakar said the Information Ministry has held a stakeholder engagement with the judicial service on the development.

“So if you would remember, when there was this issue between Caleb Kudah and the National Security, Citi FM actually wrote a petition and it was a petition to the mechanism [National Media Commission]. So it was the mechanism that took over the case to the extent that National Security had to respond.

“… In January and February, we had a stakeholder engagement with the judicial service. As a ministry, we are adding our voices to the advocacy for stiffer punishment for people who attack journalists…”

“Because if you look at the research that CDD does, if you look at the research that the Media Foundation of West Africa does, we easily assume that attacks on journalists come from politicians. But largely, they realise that the data was showing it’s security agencies and others,” Abubakar said.

Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra

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