PRESS RELEASE ON THE VOLTA REGIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL’S DIRECTIVE FOR A PROBE INTO THE POLICE ASSAULT ON MR. VICTOR KWAWUKUME
On Sunday, June 10, 2012, Mr. Victor Kwawukume, a journalist working with the Daily Graphic and Chairman of the Volta Regional Branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) was brutally assaulted by four policemen while he was performing his professional functions as a journalist during the police’s arrest of suspects in connection with the aftermath of the early Sunday swoop which saw the shooting and killing of one Atsu Mensah at Anlokordzi.
His camera was seized and taken to the Ho Central Police Station where he was asked to delete the pictures on it as a condition for the release of the camera to him.
The Volta Regional Branch of the GJA condemned the assault and petitioned the Volta Regional Security Council to institute a probe into the assault and to ensure that those culpable were identified and brought to book.
REGSEC wrote back to the GJA acknowledging receipt of the petition and promised to look into the matter following which the chairman of REGSEC who is the Regional Minister, Mr. Henry Ford Kamel called a meeting at his office on the 20th of June, 2012.
The meeting was attended by the Mr. Kwawukume, Mr. Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi, the regional GJA secretary, the minister for Women and Children’s Affairs, Mrs. Juliana Azumah Mensah, the Volta Regional Police Commander, DCOP Alex Bedie and the Chief Director of the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council (VRCC), Mr. Kwamena Mafi Akwa.
At this meeting, the Regional Minister condemned the assault on Mr. Kwawukume and directed the Police Commander, DCOP Bedie to institute a house probe to identify those who assaulted Mr. Kwawukume and to report back to him.
Two weeks after that meeting, we are yet to hear anything from the police while our colleague, Mr. Kwawukume continues to suffer pain from the assault and is currently on sick leave.
While commending the REGSEC for calling for a probe, we want to express the hope that it would not be a mere window dressing but REGSEC must ensure that results are produced from the probe for the necessary action to be taken against the culprits for justice to be seen to have been done.
This year being an election year, we believe such action is necessary in sending a strong signal that irresponsible police action would not be countenanced in our quest as a nation to further entrench our democratic ideals where the press who are indispensable in this quest can go about their duties without fear or favour.
ANTHONY BELLS KAFUI KANYI