Free Media Vanguard condemns ‘Rambo style’ arrest of ModernGhana journalists

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Prince Minkah, Convener
Prince Minkah, Convener

Media advocay group— Free Media Vanguard (FMV) has condemned the arrested of some journalists with online news portal, ModernGhana.

This comes after three editors of the media firm were picked up by National Security operatives on Thursday afternoon. It is not clear what may have caused the arrest, but sources close to the journalists say they may have been arrested for a story they published tgat sought to put the Akufo-Addo government under a bad light.

But in a statement issued on Friday vehemently detesting the raid and arrest of the trio whose whereabouts is not yet known, Convener for the FMV, Prince Minkah, said ” the attack and abduction is uncivil.”

“… it is an attack on the very foundation of our constitutional democratic architecture,and risks putting the lives of journalists and media practitioners at the mercy of government sponsored mercenaries,” he added.

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Below is FMV’s statement

FREE MEDIA VANGUARD PRESS RELEASE ON THE ATTACK ON MODERN GHANA JOURNALISTS.

June 28, 2019

The Free Media Vanguard condemns in no uncertain terms the unwarranted attack on Modern Ghana and its journalists by operatives of the National Security. To say the attack and abduction is uncivil is to underestimate the blight it has on our heavily credentialed democracy ; it is an attack on the very foundation of our constitutional democratic architecture,and risks putting the lives of journalists and media practitioners at the mercy of government sponsored mercenaries.

Under no circumstance should state hired cabals descend on journalists for doing their work, at least not in a civilised democracy as ours. We note, albeit regrettably, that this is not an isolated incident; it is a manifestation of well orchestrated attempts by this government to muzzle the press, suppress dissent, and whip journalists in line with its narratives.

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It is evidence of the illiberal dictatorial tendencies employed by state authorities to coerce perceived opponents and opposition media. The plight of Radio XYZ and Radio Gold suffices as evidence of such high-handedness and cruelty.

It is unfortunate that Ghana is gradually losing its hard won, enviable reputation as a safe haven for journalists under the current administration, and this seriously questions the President’s professed commitment to liberal democracy. That this is happening under his watch casts him as a pariah in a comity of nations that respect and protect media freedoms as non-negotiable instruments for successful governance.

We are by this release, demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the journalists, and requests that the perpetrators of that shameful act be dealt with swiftly in accordance with the law. We call on the Ghana Journalists Association(GJA) to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of the journalists in question and all journalists in Ghana. We of the Free Media Vanguard will continue our relentless advocacy for the safety of journalists and media freedoms.

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At no point in time should we as a country roll back or even give up on the coveted prize of democratic freedoms under any government, and attempts to that effect will be resisted to the hilt by the Free Media Vanguard.

#FMV: RESTORING FREEDOM TO THE PRESS

signed: Prince Minkah Convener

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