Gifty Amofa/Victoria Asante, GNA
Accra, Nov. 6, GNA - Mr Kwesi Pratt, a Senior Journalist, has asked colleague journalists to be true to the profession as that is the only way to fight injustices against practitioners.
He said they should also be themselves and respect their differences to be able to stand up against all activities that gave birth to such injustices.
Mr Pratt was addressing journalists at the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
The Day, which was instituted by UNESCO 16 years ago, is observed on November 2, annually, and this year’s theme is: “End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in Ghana”.
He encouraged media practitioners to show solidarity with one another and not justify any crime against their colleagues, which would result in strengthening the perpetrators.
“In spite of the risks involved, journalists should continue to shed light where there is darkness so that there will be no dark spots for greedy people to continue to commit crime with impunity against media personnel”.
He said journalists were killed because of what they stood for but it was time things were done within the confines of the law.
“Let’s stand for each other, let perpetrators realise their acts are futile,” he said.
Mr Abdourahamane Diallo of the UNESCO called for action to be expedited to bring perpetrators to book.
In a speech read for the Director General, he said, the killings of journalists had increased by 18 per cent in the past five years because there was no protection for them.
He said the past two years had had 55 per cent of journalists targeted for reporting on crime and political corruption in non-conflict zones.
Mr Diallo said in West Africa alone, 70 violations were committed against journalists over a ten-month period including detention, adding that daily monitoring showed disturbing trends.
Mr Muheeb Saeed, the Programmes Officer of Freedom of Expression of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), said in 2017, Ghana was rated high on the Continent for press freedom.
He said this year 12 violations have been recorded against journalists adding that only Nigeria and Guinea had recorded more in crime than Ghana in the Region.
He explained that out of the 12 there had been one killing, five assaults, two attacks on media houses, one detention, two threats and one torture.
Madam Gloria Hiage, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters’ Association, called on the citizenry to stand against all kinds of attacks against journalists.
Mr Abdul Razak Yakubu, who represented the UK High Commissioner, pledged support for journalists, especially during the upcoming elections.
Present at the programme were Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, Chairman of the National Media Commission, Mr Affail Monney, GJA President, and the Diplomatic Corps.