The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) is currently in talks with some lawyers who will handle cases of abuse against journalist, its President, Roland Affail Monney, has said.
According to Mr. Monney, beyond condemning the act, which has always been the practice in the past, the Association has had a conversation with the Inspector General of Police on measures they are putting in place to prevent such abuses.
He also hinted on the GJA’s engagements with stakeholders to be able to take legal actions against the perpetrators of such abuses.
“As we speak, we are rallying together a group of lawyers who will help us in such cases,” the GJA President stated.
“Sooner or later we shall inaugurate this group made up of prominent and solid lawyers who are our allies and will continue to be on standby to respond forcefully to such incidents.”
According to him, the GJA lacks the capacity to prosecute cases of abuses against journalists but there are a number of “Special prosecutors” among their own fold who are ready and willing to advise the Association on such cases.
He said the arrangement is such that it is going to be purely voluntary services from journalists who double as lawyers or have knowledge in law and believe in media freedom so it may take a while to inaugurate the team.
“We need people who believe in the media, who believe in media freedom, who understand, who appreciate, who value what we do, and not all lawyers will side with us, even not everybody will side with us…we need to convince them and once they accept to do this out of their own volition, I hope half of the work is done.”
This comes on the back a worrying increase in recent abuses against Ghanaian journalists in their line duty, a concern that has been raised by the Media Foundation for West Africa.
The most recent purported abuse of a journalist in the line of duty is TV3’s court reporter Godfred Tanam, who was on Monday arrested by the police for taking a video of the accused persons standing trial in the Kwabenya cell break case.