By Gifty Amofa, GNA,
Accra, May 7, GNA – The Association of Women in Media (ASWIM) has condemned the assault on one of its members, Ohemaa Sakyiwaa, a reporter with Adom FM by Hajia Fati, a member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Ohemaa Sakyiwaa was assigned to cover an event at the NPP Headquarters on Friday, May 4 when she was attacked for carrying out her duty.
A release signed by Mrs Mavis Kitcher, the interim President for ASWIM, said, Party members were picking nomination forms to contest the national executive positions when Sakyiwaa was assaulted.
« We unequivocally condemn the assault on Ms Sakyiwaa while she was performing her duty as a journalist and call on the police to investigate and take immediate action on the matter to stop the maltreatment and harassment of reporters in their line of duty, » it added.
Giving the details, it said, Sakyiwaa, in the course of her duty, saw Hajia Fati when she arrived at the NPP office; so, she went to her to introduce herself and requested for an interview.
However, a man by Sakyiwaa told her that Hajia was too angry to speak with her.
It said, the reporter then proceeded to do other things by capturing other events with the camera on her phone and later go for interviews, including talking to Hajia Fati.
The statement said, unfortunately for Sakyiwaa, just as she begun taking photos, Hajia Fati smashed the phone and slapped her on the mouth.
She was quickly rescued by other Party members present who sent her to their office.
« Indeed, it is unfortunate that such maltreatment of a journalist should occur in the 21st Century and immediately after the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day, here in Ghana, when Ghanaians were so proud that the country was ranked 23rd in the world and first in Africa by Reporters Without Borders on the World Press Freedom Ranking list for an environment conducive to freedom of the press and for democracy to thrive. »
It continued that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently condemned acts which restricted the practice of journalism when he addressed journalists of the world at the dinner and awards ceremony in Accra.
If journalists were forced to consider their safety first and were able to cover events which could put their lives at risk, this would be to the detriment of the nation and Ghana’s democracy, the statement said.
The interim President of the ASWIM noted that the Association took a very serious view of the assault on their member and demanded that the necessary action be taken against Hajia Fati to deter members of the public who took the law into their own hands and blatantly disregarded the human rights of others, especially, journalists and continue to manhandle and treat them with disdain.
It said it would ensure justice was served in the matter.