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General News | May 27, 2004

Rawlings lucky to be enjoying life - Mrs. Amamoo

Chronicle

Mrs. Breid Amamoo, wife of one time editor of the Ghanaian Times, has said that former President Jerry John Rawlings was lucky to be still alive and enjoying life.

She stressed that if Ghana were to be any other country in Africa or any part of the world he would not be walking free.

Speaking at the re-launch of the Original Palaver newspaper in Accra yesterday, Finish-born Mrs. Amamoo said she had been a Ghanaian citizen for the past 43 years and that the only time that she had to flee the country was when Mr. Rawlings started killing people all over.

“I was put into prison and I could have been murdered if I had stayed in the country at that time” said Mrs. Amamoo.

The Chairman of the occasion, her husband Mr. J.G. Amamoo, who was also a former deputy minister and ambassador to Hungary said, “ in America when you kill even a dog you go to prison but in Ghana people have perpetrated all kinds of human right abuses including murder and torture, yet they walk free”.

Mr. Chris Asher, the Publisher and theEditor-In-Chief of the Original Palaver broke down in tears when he was recounting how the PNDC government in 1982 confiscated his property.

These assets included $12.5million, over 100,000 pounds sterling, a 15- bedroom house, eight press printing machines and the then Palaver newspaper, he said.

“The Original Palaver is not an ordinary newspaper but a symbolism of a determined journalist to defy all obstacles in order to achieve an objective. This is why this newspaper is been re-lunched,” said Mr. Asher who had been in exile since 1982.

He said the Original Palaver would wage war against those who had brought the honorable profession of journalism from grace to grass and expunge the mediocrity of journalism that appeared to be the order of the day in Ghana.

He said the current situation in which “every Tom, Dick and Harry” was allowed to operate a media house without a corresponding adherence to the ethics, canons and principles of journalism, “is a foreboding crescendo of threat to freedom of the press”.

He therefore called on the Kufuor administration, which liberated the media from subjugation to review the situation as soon as possible.

Mr. Asher said he had lived in exile for 25 years after he fled to London through Togo when Rawlings instructed soldiers to murder him in the wake of the 31st December 1981 coup.

“Rawlings presided over all the atrocities that were perpetrated on Ghanaians which were not fit to be done to even animals,” he said.

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