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GJA condemns BNI, Karikari calls for prosecution of its agents
From: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah          Published On: August 12, 2012, 18:47 GMT
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GJA condemns BNI, Karikari calls for prosecution of its agents

Prof Kwame Karikari

The Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa, Prof Kwame Karikari has called for criminal prosecution of some BNI agents who allegedly assaulted photo journalists at the High Court on Thursday.

A lady photojournalist with the Daily Guide newspaper, Gifty Lawson was reportedly assaulted and stripped by agents of the BNI after she attempted to take a photograph of a suspect- DSP Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda who had been brought to court over the controversial cocaine turned baking soda saga.

Two other workers from the Daily Guide who attempted to shield Lawson were also allegedly manhandled after which the three were later arrested.

Two have since been released with the BNI contemplating prosecuting the third.

Editor of the Daily Guide Newspaper Fortune Alimi in an interview with Joy News condemned the action by the BNI.

According to him, the lady is highly traumatized after being "seriously molested" and is seeking treatment at the hospital.

He narrated the agents put their hands in her dress in their bid to take custody of a memory card they claimed had been hidden in there.

Fortune Alimi said his colleagues breached no laws in taking photographs at the precincts of the court and wondered why they had to be taken through this inhuman treatment.

The Ghana Journalists Association also issued a statement condemning the action by the BNI.

“We consider the nature of the assault and detention of a journalist and other persons performing their lawful duties to be exceptionally violent and too difficult to comprehend.

“No assault on any media personnel can be justified,” the statement signed by the GJA Vice President Affail Monney said.

It subsequently petitioned the IGP to look into the alleged assault on the journalists.

In an interview with Joy News Prof Kwame Karikari was particularly angry at the agents of the BNI for what he said is the consistent and unprovoked attacks on journalists.

He said it is the “stock in trade” of the BNI to molest and assault journalists and the time to end their lawlessness was now!

He is convinced that if agents were hauled before court and punished for their actions it would serve as a deterrent to others who in the future would want to do same.

He said the office of the president must intervene to end this act of lawlessness.

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