10 September 2013

Ghana's Supreme Court Jails Journalist for Contempt

press release

On July 2, 2013, nine judges on Ghana's Supreme Court convicted Ken Kuranchie, editor-in-chief of the Daily Searchlight, of criminal contempt in connection with his critical articles. The journalist was sentenced to 10 days in jail, according to news reports.

Kuranchie's June 27, 2013, editorials, called "Can We Comment on Decisions of the Supreme Court Hearing or Not" and "Is There Justice In The Land?," discussed the court's handling of a challenge by the opposition party to the results of the December 2012 presidential elections, the reports said. The opposition party, the New Patriotic Party, lost the election.

In his articles, Kuranchie questioned the judges' ruling to bar Samuel Awuku, an official with the New Patriot Party, from attending the hearings after the official had publicly criticized the court, according to news reports. In an interview with the private station Peace FM, Awuku said that it was "hypocritical and selective" for the Supreme Court to cite an article from the Daily Guide about the Chief Justice's handling of evidence as an example of poor reporting.

Kuranchie was released on July 11 and publicly apologized for his articles.

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