Ghanaian journalists may have to consider seeking redress at the international level if local state institutions continue to fail in delivering justice when they’re abused or tortured, says the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Kenneth Ashigbey.
According to him, given that several cases of abuse and torture against journalists are not effectively prosecuted and the culprits sanctioned, seeking redress particularly from the ECOWAS Court could be a viable option.
Mr. Ashigbey expressed these sentiments on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday while contributing to the discussion on the assault on Citi FM’s Caleb Kudah by national security operatives.
“One of the things we should be seeking to do is to start elevating this conversation from just the civil suit and going to the West African Court,” he said.
Mr. Ashigbey cited the case where the ECOWAS court ruled against The Gambia and ordered it to pay a sum of $100,000 to two journalists and their families who were tortured during the regime of Yahya Jammeh.
“We need to start elevating it so that if you have a situation where for instance Latif is assaulted by a state institution etc. we need to start saying that if it will not be dealt with nationally, let’s go internationally and then it will force our national bodies to start dealing with the situation,” he added.
Operatives of National Security last Tuesday arrested and assaulted Citi FM‘s Caleb Kudah after they found him filming abandoned state-funded vehicles near its offices.
The operatives subsequently besieged Citi FM to arrest another journalist, Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo who received the materials captured by Caleb.
No charges have been brought against the two.
Mr. Ashigbey intimated that the arrest of Caleb Kudah for videoing abandoned state vehicles was unwarranted as his action was in the interest of the general public.
He said the development presents numerous lessons for all including journalists.
He also urged the government to immediately deal with the growing incidents of abuse of journalists by state security agencies.