November 7, 2019
Former Deputy Minister of Information is advocating for the establishment of media fund to support journalists who come under attack by way of their medical bills to aid them recover and by way of their legal bills in the pursuit of justice.

In a statement on the floor of the House, he noted that 2nd November 2019 commemorated the United Nations member states as the international day to end the impunity for crimes against journalists.

According to UNESCO report “intensified attacks new defenses” more than one thousand one hundred journalists have been killed between 2006 and 2018 for reporting the news and bringing information to the public.

On the average, this constitute one death every four days; and in nine out of ten cases, the killers go unpunished.

Despite the fact that Ghana now boasts of a vibrant and pluralistic media which is striving to perform its function of keeping the citizenry informed, ensuring that public officers are accountable and leading causes for societal progress there are issues we must all be concerned about as democrats, he added.

As we observe this day, it is said to acknowledge that for the first time in Ghana, a journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale was brutally murdered and we must use this day to appeal to investigative authorities to expedite work in identifying the perpetrators and bring them to justice, he emphasised.

“We need regular updates so that it does not appear as though Ahmed’s death has been forgotten”, he lamented.

Three journalists from the Ghanaian Times newspaper including a lactating mother were terribly assaulted by ten police officers in March this year.

“Mr. Speaker, it is paramount that as a country we take decisive steps in addressing recurrent attacks against journalists which mostly goes unpunished. Some law enforcement agencies who are tasked with protecting the rights of citizens flout these rules with impunity and if left unattended may not only be selling doom for journalism but also for all citizens”.

Again, the impunity against journalists can also come in the form of denying them decent working conditions. When government deliberately boycott media platforms and also deny them adverts with the view to financially emasculate the press, all these perpetuates impunity against them.

The National Media Commission should do more in defending the liberties of journalists and ensuring that those who harm them find no peace, he concluded.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/