Government says it cannot be blamed for the attacks on Journalists. The blame it says should be placed on overzealous youth and Security Personnel. The Deputy Minister of Information Fatimatu Abubakar made this point at the 2022 UNESCO/GJA World Press Freedom Day Event on May 4th, 2022 at the Ghana International Press Center, GIPC in Accra.
Her comments follow Ghana’s steep decline on the world Press Freedom Index which saw Ghana move from 3 to 10th in Africa and 30th to 60th in the world. The report said for journalists to protect their jobs and their security, they increasingly resort to self-censorship, as the government shows itself intolerant of criticism. But speaking at the ceremony to commemorate World Press Freedom Day, the Deputy Minister of Information Fatimatu Aboubakar says the Government has nothing to do with the attacks.
Ghana’s current position is the worst performance in 17 years. With this report, Ghana is far behind a number of African countries including military-ruled Burkina Faso which is 41st in the World. Speaker after speaker at the commemoration of the Press Freedom Day at the Press Center in Accra expressed disquiet at what they say is the increasing threat on the lives of journalists in line of duty.
President of GJA Roland Affail Monney said the GJA is gradually losing hope in the ability of State Institutions to protect journalists. He said the decline was expected considering the fact that in the last few years there have been reckless attacks on journalists and their rights in the line of duty with cases such as the assassination of Ahmed Suale remaining unsolved even after the IGP announced a Special Unit for such cases.
The Media Foundation for West Africa said during the year under review, it has recorded at least 15 cases of impunity against journalists with many of them perpetrated by the security agencies. Muheeb Saeed is Senior Programs Officer For Freedom of Expression, with the Foundation and says reports point to the impunity against Journalists in Ghana.
However, the government says it is not responsible for the impunity.
According to Deputy Information Minister, Fatima Abubakar, there has to be more engagements with the Security Services on the issue.
The 2022 World Press Freedom Day highlighted the impact of digitalization on the Journalistic profession.