Saturday, 20 April

Conduct of police officers ‘an egregious act that cannot go unpunished’ – PRINPAG petitions Dampare on assault of journalist

General News
IGP Dr George Akuffo Dampare

The Executive Committee of the Private Newspapers and Online News Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) has drawn the attention of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr George Akuffo Dampare to the manhandling of a journalist and one of its members, Ralph Apetorgbor.

In a letter to the IGP, on Tuesday, 20 February 2024, PRINPAG indicated that the incident occurred during Mr Apetorgbor’s coverage of the inauguration of the Ga Central Municipal Assembly located at Sowutuom on Monday, 12 February 2024.

PRINPAG further indicated that their member was “violently manhandled by the two Police Officers identified as Chief Inspector Aikins and ASP Richard Kungu both officers at the Sowutuom District Headquarters”.

According to PRINPAG, per Mr Apetorgbor’s narration to its Executive Committee, he “faced physical aggression, verbal abuse, and obstruction from the two law enforcement officers while covering the District Assembly inauguration ceremony”.

The Police officers accused Mr Apetorgbor of filming the proceedings without official authorisation, and manhandled him in the process, a development, PRINPAG stressed: “is a clear affront to the media’s role in ensuring transparency, accountability, and press freedom in the country’s democratic process”.

Mr Apetorgbor also highlighted the “unprofessional conduct of the Sowutuom police officers which hindered his ability to report on the event effectively,” to the Executive Committee of PRINPAG.

PRINPAG noted that the manhandling of Mr Apetorgbor “does not only violate his fundamental right as a journalist but also undermines the freedom of the press and the rule of law in our society”.

It described the conduct of the two police officers as “an egregious act that cannot go unpunished, as it sets a dangerous precedent for the treatment of journalists in their line of duty”.

PRINPAG, therefore, petitioned the IGP in its letter to him, to “take immediate and decisive action in ensuring that the conduct” is acknowledged and the two police officers “are brought to book and dealt in line with their profession”.

Source: Adiku