The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Private Newspaper Printers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), and Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) have called on government to restructure the National Security agency while demanding an apology from the Ministry for the attacks on Citi FM and its staff.
In a joint statement, the Groups condemned in no uncertain terms the brutish actions of the National Security personnel and other State Security Agencies against journalists in the country.
They bemoaned the harm such attacks, if not checked, could have on the country’s democracy.
They, therefore, called on government to, with immediate effect, restructure the National Security agency to ensure that that brutish personnel are removed, and the unit is reformed.
“We are of the view that the time has come for government to restructure the Ministry of National Security, re-orient the minds of these operatives, and to institute professional recruitment policies to ensure that the Ministry recruits the right calibre of professionals who will be entrusted with the intelligence mandate of the Ministry,” they said in a statement dated May 16.
They added that, “It is the view of the leadership of the three media groups that, the handlers of Ghana’s national security institute measures to weed out of the security agencies, undesired elements with barbaric and brutish tendencies, whose conduct always creates needless tension between poor civilians and the operatives of Ghana’s national security.”
The three media groups also called on the National Security agency to issue an unqualified apology to the Staff and Management of Citi FM/Citi TV for the “havoc, panic and trauma caused them.”
According to them the work of investigative journalists are even more important in ensuring the sustenance and full enjoyment of the country’s democratic status, thus the impunity with which state security personnel attack and raid media houses should be checked.
“We draw attention to the impunity with which security personnel in Ghana attack media practitioners in the course of exercising their legitimate duties and condemn in no uncertain terms, the approach of the National Security operatives in the unwarranted use of force and intimidatory tactics against the Citi FM journalists even if the actions of the journalist in question, raises concerns for the security services.
“The continuous invasion of media houses by national security operatives must stop. We condemn the seizure and deletion of journalistic and any other material on any recording device without court orders.”
Meanwhile, the three media groups have also joined the long list of Civil Society Organisations and individuals demanding the President set up an independent body of inquiry to investigate allegations of assault and brutality by National Security Operatives as reported by Caleb Kudah and other journalists who have suffered the same fate.
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