Pursue justice for your journalist – Occupy Ghana to Multimedia

Pressure group, OccupyGhana, has advised Multimedia Group to commence civil proceedings against both Hajia Fati and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) following her assault on one of its reporters, from Adom FM at the party’s headquarters.

In a statement, the pressure group urged Multimedia “to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is done in this matter.”

This follows an apology by the  NPP activist, Hajia Fati whose apology OccupyGhana described as “markedly forced, laboured and half-hearted.”

The assault occurred after Hajia Fati forcefully prevented Sammy Crabbe, a suspended official of the party, from picking up forms to contest for the NPP’s chairmanship position.
The reporter, Ohemaa Sakyiwaa, said she tried to take some photos when she was slapped in the face by Hajia Fati.

What followed was the widespread condemnation of the NPP and Hajia Fati, along with the threat of a boycott of NPP events from Citi FM, following which the NPP finally condemned the incident and said it was conducting its own investigation into the matter.
OccupyGhana believes prosecution is critical in such matters because it feels “that these attacks persist because of the failure, neglect or refusal to prosecute offenders.”

“This has created a culture of impunity that has unfortunately infected and engulfed even the Ghana Police Service, when one considers the recent similarly barbaric, senseless and uncalled for attacks on another journalist, Iddrissu Latif also of the Multimedia Group, while undertaking his legitimate journalistic duties.”

OccupyGhana further held that the NPP was not doing enough to protect journalists following similar incidents in the past, one of which included the manhandling of a Citi FM reporter.

In December 2017, three journalists, including Citi FM’s Marie-Franz Fordjoe, and two others from TV3 and Ghanaweb, were assaulted by security guards at the NPP’s headquarters when they were covering a demonstration by some angry party members on December 21, 2017.

“The NPP appears oblivious to the fact that it has a legal obligation to protect journalists and other persons who they allow into their premises to conduct legitimate business,” the pressure group said.

The full statement released by the pressure group is captured below is captured below

OccupyGhana® wishes to register its total abhorrence at the penchant of persons, particularly those in political authority or with political connections, to assault and batter journalists who are simply doing their work.

The recent reported assault on Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepa, a reporter of Accra-based Adom FM by one Hajia Fati, a known member and operative of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at that party’s headquarters in Accra is reprehensible and ought to be condemned outright. In addition, the perpetrator has to be dealt with to the fullest extent permitted by law.

OccupyGhana® is concerned that these attacks persist because of the failure, neglect or refusal to prosecute offenders. This has created a culture of impunity that has unfortunately infected and engulfed even the Ghana Police Service, when one considers the recent similarly barbaric, senseless and un-called for attacks on another journalist, Iddrissu Latif also of the Multimedia Group, while undertaking his legitimate journalistic duties.
Examples of such attacks are a legion. However, one thread that runs through them is the non-prosecution of the perpetrators. Added to this is the apparent lack of interest or inability of the victims to commence and sustain civil legal action against their assaulters and the owners of the premises where these assaults occur, particularly the political parties.
We are scandalized by the time it took the New Patriotic Party to publicly condemn the actions of Hajia Fati; and when that came, it was markedly forced, laboured and half-hearted. The NPP appears oblivious to the fact that it has a legal obligation to protect journalists and other persons who they allow into their premises to conduct legitimate business.
OccupyGhana® is heartened to learn about a report of the assault having been filed with the police. We are glad that Hajia Fati has been invited for questioning. We would encourage the Multimedia group to also commence civil proceedings against both Hajia Fati and the NPP, and to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is done in this matter
In the same vein, we are demanding full disclosure from the Ghana Police Service on its investigations into the assault of Iddrissu Latif, and for the relevant consequential legal processes to take place.
These attacks on journalists must stop forthwith. An attack on journalists going about their legitimate duties is an attack on the entire Ghanaian citizenry. It must not be tolerated! The media as the ‘fourth estate of the realm’ play an integral role in the lives of the state and its peoples. Any party or group that seeks to thwart their work have no right to institutional existence under the Fourth Republican Constitution.

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