GJA grumbles over attack on journalists at Owusu-Bempah’s trial
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has described the attack on some journalists by loyalists of the Head Pastor of Glorious Word Power Ministries International, Rev Isaac Owusu Bempah, as desecration of the rights of journalists and affront to press freedom.
In a statement, the Association condemned the barbaric actions of the followers of the embattled “Man of God” and demanded a swift action that would ensure that justice would be served.
It would be recalled that on Monday, some journalists who went to an Accra High Court, where Rev Bempah was standing trial, were assaulted and prevented from entering the court by well- muscled men of the church
According to the GJA statement, the loyalists “reportedly prevented the court reporters from gaining access to the room to perform their legitimate duty and visited mayhem on those who dared them”.
Following the barbaric nature of the unwarranted attack, which happened at the citadel of justice, the GJA said the “media community is once again enduring excruciating pain”
The GJA in its release cited a number of past events where Rev Bempah had allegedly attacked the media and went unpunished, and expressed the hope that the full rigours of the law would take its effective cause.
“On Friday, March 15, 2019, Owusu Bempah stormed the premises of Radio XYZ in the company of four gun wielding thugs in search of a radio presenter at the station”, the statement said.
“On December 13, 2018 the same man of God had apparently been driven by red hot anger to vandalize equipment at Hot FM”.
In both instances, according to the GJA, the man in the centre, Rev Owusu Bempah went unpunished, as nothing punitive happened to him.
“It is needless to note that Owusu Bempah and his followers did and said anything with careless abandon and naked impunity until the air of untouchability surrounding them was punctured with the latest arrest”, the statement signed by the outgoing president, Affail Monney said.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Police Service has issued an unreserved apology to the media following the unwarranted attack. “We apologise unreservedly for this inconvenience and wish to give the assurance that journalists would be fully protected and allowed to do their work at all times, including the subsequent coverage of this case,” the police statement, signed by ACP Kwasi Ofori, Acting Director of Public Affairs said.
“We will continue to do everything possible to deepen the cordial Police-Media relationship”, the statement added.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest