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25.04.2005 General News

Ashanti GJA condemns attack on journalists

By GNA

Kumasi, April.25, GNA-The Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has described as disgusting, barbaric and primitive the assault on some media practitioners who covered the Asawase bye-election on Thursday.

In a statement issued to the press on Monday and signed by its chairman, Mr Samuel Ennin, the GJA said such assaults were dents on the country's march towards attaining deeper democracy looking at the indispensable role journalists played in every progressive country's body politics.

The association found it rather sickening the assault on Luv FM reporter, Mr Sampson Lardi and Mr Nkrumah Adassah of Kessben FM by some security personnel whose duty was to ensure that there were no violence and disorder in the constituency.

The statement said the association found it strange that security personnel who performed their duties so well during the elections ended up soiling their performance with brutalities on journalists whose only fault was to let the whole world know the outcome of the elections. According to the GJA, even though the electoral commission apologised informally on some radio stations in Kumasi, it believed that, if the commission and security agencies had coordinated their activities very well, such nasty incident would not have happened. The association appealed to the military command to institute thorough investigations into the allegations of assault and expose the perpetrators for appropriate punishment.

The statement also condemned the assault on Mr Emmanuel Duah, reporter of Happy FM by some party supporters at Adukrom, and said journalists reporting on polls were not obliged to speak in favour of any political party, or were they enemies of the parties in the contest. The association recalled a number of assaults on innocent pressmen covering rallies and political congresses in the country and said such assaults were not only shameful but the perpetrators were "robots, yes-men, sycophants and political na=EFve activists whose principals would never use their children or siblings to engage in such dastardly acts."

The association shared the pain of Mr Emmanuel Duah and asked him to take the assault as one of the occupational hazards caused by people whose better places were " the lunatic fringes and trashcans of multi party democracy".

The statement congratulated the NDC candidate Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak for winning the elections and appealed to him to assist in uniting the people.

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