The Human Rights and Governance Centre (HRG Centre), has described as absurd and without legal basis the arrest of Selorm Gbirbidzi, a journalist working with The Finder.

In a statement issued on the matter yesterday and signed by its director, Martin Kpebu, the centre noted that the police have the authority to ensure law and order at all times.

It, however, stated that “the detention did not only infringe on the rights of the journalist, but it was also absurd and without legal basis.”

It recalled how in November 2019 the Inspector General of Police, Mr James Oppong-Boanuh activated hotlines for receiving citizens’ complaints on the conduct of police through voice calls, SMS and videos, as a result of “several complaints about police unprofessional conduct while on duty.”

The centre, therefore, called on the Police Service to ensure respect for the administrative decision for the public’s safety and trust in the work of the police.

It urged the top hierarchy of the Ghana Police Service to remind the rank and file of the service, especially those who have regular interaction with the public, of the rules and regulations that guide their work, in order to curtail violation of the rights of citizens who collaborate with the police to ensure law and order in Ghana.

Background

On Thursday, January 14, a journalist with The Finder newspaper was arrested by an officer of the Motorbike Unit of the Legon Police, Sergeant Solomon Tackie, for filming an altercation between the police and a driver at the Legon bus stop.

This action displeased the policeman, who called for backup from the police station and arrested and detained the journalist for four hours. He was later charged on three counts and granted bail.