AMERICAN editor of leading newspaper, New York Tribune, Horace Greeley, (3 February 1811 – 29 November 1872), said: “Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you’re at it.”
WITHIN a space of 15 months a total of seventeen (17) journalists have been assaulted, attacked and maltreated by people in our society who should know better.
THE above disclosure was made by Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in a statement issued on April 10, 2018 in Accra.
INDEED what precipitated MFWA to come out with the list of journalists who have been attacked in recent times was the police brutalities meted out to Multimedia Group Journalist, Latif Idris.
SADLY, Latif’s incident happened right under the nose of the police hierarchy—at the headquarters of the Ghana Police Service—and in the public full glare while he was covering a demonstration by the GhanaFirst group, whose members on March 27, 2018 were protesting the approved Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between Ghana and the United States of America (USA).
LATIF’s crime, which was no crime at all and did not, in anyway, warrant the kind of absurd beatings by those police thugs, was that he had asked a harmless question regarding the name of one of the vehicles deployed by the police to ensure that the protesters stay within the ambit of the law.
IN the view of Today those police officers who brutally assaulted innocent and harmless Latif in his line of duty must bow their heads in shame. In fact, their action is nothing short of an attack on press freedom—which must be condemned by all of us.
REGRETTABLY, only a few media houses are talking about the Latif incident since it broke out. And for Joy FM it is to be expected that they will fight tooth and nail for justice to be served Latif.
BUT as all of us in the inky fraternity we must not lose sight of the fact that what happened to Latif Idris can happen to any journalist at any given time and not necessarily during demonstrations.
THEREFORE, it is imperative that we all join in the fight to ensure that the police officers who meted out the injustice to Laltif are brought to book. It is the only way we can help deter these unpardonable behaviours against journalists.
IT is refreshing to see the Police Administration affirm its resolve to look into the matter and officers found culpable brought to book.
HOWEVER, there is a certain belief held by most police officers in this country—that we [the police] are the law and that nobody dares questions us in any action(s) that we take! This belief has expressly been manifested by the postures of many police officers in the line of their duties.
BUT the police should know that nobody is above the law in this country—not even the president!
THAT is the more reason why we are urging the police hierarchy to go all lengths and ensure that those officers who subjected Latfi to that kind of inhumane treatment are made to face the full rigours of the law. We equally call on our colleague journalists to come on board so we can demand justice for Latif!
ASIDE from that, we at Today want to assure the police that no amount of intimidation will deter us from executing our constitutional duties as members belonging to the fourth estate of the realm!