13.10.2004 General News

Media told to distinguish facts from opinions

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Accra, Oct.13, GNA - Nana Owusu-Nsiah, Inspector General of Police on Wednesday reiterated his call to the Media to avoid politicising crime to make the work of the Police easier.

He said the Police were finding it difficult to discharge its traditional functions whenever publicities were centred round politicians, who might not even be suspects in a crime.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah, who speaking in Accra about observations made by the Police on the activities of the Media and political parties urged the Media to strive to distinguish facts from opinions and avoid sensationalism of any kind that could create insecurity.

Nana Owusu-Nsiah said the Police were determined to ensure a peaceful and successful elections in December and had, therefore, embarked on intensive training programmes on electoral laws, major incident management, respect for human rights and other conflict resolution strategies for its personnel throughout the country.

He warned those removing posters of political parties to desist from the act because when caught the law would not spare them. The Police, he said, would remain neutral in enforcing the law and called on the Media, politicians, religious leaders and chiefs to promote healthy relationship and exchange ideas in a free atmosphere. The IGP warned that the advent of electioneering campaign did not mean the suspension of the laws of the country that were meant to protect life and property.

He said in line with the Political Parties Code of Conduct 2004, which was signed by all political parties, the Police would arrest and promptly prosecute anyone, who broke the provisions in the code irrespective of the 'spirit of campaigning' and party affiliations. He said the Police had noted with grave concern various acts of harassment including verbal and physical attacks on political opponents and the turning of sporting activities such as keep-fit clubs and exercises into political route marches.

He said it was evidently clear that some of those acts provided fertile grounds for unnecessary confrontations and breaches of the peace and warned against it.

Political parties should desist from converting social activities into political processions, which were, termed Special Events under the Public Order Act, Act 491.

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