The Minister for Information and Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has called on judges to pronounce stern judgements against persons who attack journalists.
According to him, stiffer punishment against perpetrators by the courts is necessary to deter would-be offenders and protect freedom of expression in the country.
Delivering an address at the official opening ceremony of a three-day training workshop for judicial actors organized by UNESCO on Monday, December 5, Oppong Nkrumah said judges play a pivotal role in protecting press freedom and upholding the rule of law.
“The public look up to you to pronounced stern judgement to perpetrators of press attacks to serve as a deterrent to others,” he told the judges who were drawn from Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The information minister emphasised the need to create a safe environment where journalists can carry out their work without fear of intimidation or violence.
He condemned all forms of violence against members of the media.
The Minister noted that Ghana has set up the Office of the Coordinated Mechanism for Safety of Journalists in collaboration with key stakeholders to operationalise the UN Plan of Action on Safety of Journalists.
The coordinated mechanism, he said, aims to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach involving government agencies, law enforcement, media organizations and civil society to comprehensively address issues relating to the prevention of violence, protection of journalists at risk and prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against the press.
The information minister's call comes as attacks and threats against journalists continue to undermine press freedom in some parts of the world including Ghana.