The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has described the manhandling of Citi News’ Caleb Kudah as a slap to media freedom.
Mr. Kudah was arrested at the National Security Ministry on Tuesday for filming abandoned MASLOC vehicles parked at the premises of the Ministry.
He was then brutalised by the security officers.
A team of seven heavily-armed police officers subsequently attempted to detain Citi News‘ Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo at the premises of Citi FM/Citi TV in a ‘Rambo’ style.
The officers took the action because Caleb had forwarded some of the footage he captured to Zoe via WhatsApp.
Caleb Kudah, in an account of his ordeal, said he was slapped several times and kicked in the groin by the National Security officers.
Executive Secretary of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson in a Citi News interview condemned the action by the National Security operatives and said steps should be taken to ensure that the officers in question are arrested and dealt with to serve as a deterrent to others who take the law into their own hands.
“We entreat the police to adopt more civil means of dealing with the media when they fall short of the law. We don’t want this whole negative publicity and all these things go a long way to affect our media freedom rankings and also our human rights indices as well.”
“We do not want to see some of these things going on now and then. We condemn it unequivocally.”
ASEPA calls for removal of Affail Monney as GJA president
ASEPA in a separate statement also blasted the President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Affail Monney for claiming Caleb Kudah breached the GJA Code of Ethics by filming at the National Security Ministry.
“They must call for the immediate withdrawal or removal of Mr. Affail Monney as their president so that the GJA can show solidarity to their compatriots who were assaulted,” the group urged in a statement.
“We’re so disgusted with the comments of the GJA president in the midst of this brutality and assault on journalists. For the GJA president to go on radio and say that the journalists breached the code of ethics of the GJA and so the attacks on them, however bizarre they were, were warranted, I think is very unfortunate. It’s certainly not good for the victims especially at the time where you expect the GJA to rally behind these journalists, give them the maximum protection and solidarity that you’d expect.”