Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has acknowledged an increase in attacks on and intimidation of journalists in the country.
This comes despite measures the government had put in place to protect journalists in accordance with the UN’s 2012 Plan of Action on journalist safety.
The UN plan calls for a collaborative approach involving global and national stakeholders to prevent violence against journalists, protect them from harm and prosecute perpetrators.
Addressing Parliament on the issue, the Minister said data from the Information Ministry indicates abuse of journalists in Ghana is rising.
To improve safety of journalist, he stated that the government has initiated the coordinated mechanism on the safety of journalists’ programme and established an office to oversee it.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah indicated that “The Coordinated Mechanism on the Safety of Journalists” has chalked some success since its inception.
Under its advocacy function, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the office conducted a training session in 2019 for journalists in the Northern Region, adding that the Ministry has also been engaging the Judicial Service, advocating for severe punishment by the judiciary of persons who attack journalists and media houses.
The report by the office determined that other incidents of reported attacks on journalists have also been investigated by the office, with findings conveyed to security and prosecutorial agencies for action.
In a three-point request to realise the full benefits of the mechanism, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said it would be helpful for Parliament to assist in holding the agencies accountable for the incidents that have been reported to them.
Richard Aniagyei, ISD