31 October 2018

Ghana: Political Party Vigilantes Assault Journalist

press release

A vigilante group allied to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ghana's main opposition party, assaulted Emmanuel Sackey, a journalist with Accra-based Top FM, at the party's Youth and Women's Congress on October 27, 2018.

An unidentified member of the group known as The Hawks, pounced on the journalist as he tried to get an interview with Edem Agbana, who had been declared winner of the Youth Organiser contest.

"He asked me what was wrong with me, and before I realised, a blow landed on my mouth and nose and I started bleeding. He started punching me in the face. I'm in pains at the moment, my mouth is swollen... ... This is not the first time but this time I was beaten mercilessly," Emmanuel Sackey explained his orderal

Explaining the incident to Citi FM, in Accra, Edem said the reporter's continued pursuit for an interview annoyed some militants wearing shirts with "The Hawks" inscribed on it. One of them accosted the journalist and told him he would not be allowed to make the interview. He added that that journalist was to blame, although he had called the reporter to render his apologies.

"I declined the interview all the way from the top. I had walked almost out of the hall. I didn't know that he was still following me. There was a crowd around me. He was forcing his way into the crowd to get an interview and in the process, he got pushed by somebody. He wasn't the only one. It wasn't a deliberate attempt to beat the journalist who was trying to get an interview."

We condemn the attack on the journalist and find the NDC executive's attempt to play down the incident as very unfortunate. We urge the Management of Top FM to report the incident to the police and ensure the perpetrators are identified and punished.


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