The Association, which has come under criticism lately for showing what many consider to be a lackadaisical attitude towards the welfare of journalists, say the numerous attacks on journalists are depleting the democratic oxygen in the country.
Citing the killing of a Brong Ahafo Regional correspondent for Accra-based radio station, Peace FM, and the attack on a Ghana Broadcasting Corporation journalist in August, its President, Affail Monney said the attacks cast a slur on Ghana’s freedom and democracy.
“Ghana may not be a common victim of killing of a journalist, nevertheless, we have suffered at least one killing in the Brong Ahafo Region. We also recall the crashing of the recorder of a reporter by Stan Dogbe; a trained journalist now working at the Presidency. The GJA finds such behaviour disgusting and dangerous to press freedom and democracy”, he stated.
The GJA has been silent on the issue of the attack on the GBC journalist since the issue came to the fore to the extent that comments by Mr Monney appeared to have favoured the perpetrator, Mr. Stan Dogbe.
Speaking at an event Monday to mark this year’s day of impunity against journalist, Mr. Monney said respect for the right and dignity of journalists, especially in their line of duty is fundamental to their ability to deliver accountability, participation and other dimensions of good governance.
He insisted that that impunity against journalists in Ghana cannot be accepted by the association, noting “as we speak, our democracy is bleeding profusely because of these attacks on journalists. We have a weapon to condemn these attacks to expose these perpetrators and demand action against them”
Meanwhile, 155 Ghanaian journalists on October 14, petitioned President, John Dramani Mahama, demanding sanctions against one of his staffers, Stan Dogbe, who allegedly assaulted a journalist on duty.
Mr. Dogbe, who handles communications at the Presidency, reportedly assaulted and destroyed the voice recorder of Yahaya Kuamoah, a reporter with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) whom he accused of recording a private conversation.
The incident was said to have happened at the 37 Military Hospital where victims of the presidential press corps accident which killed one journalist, Samuel Nuamah and injured others on August 20, 2015 had been taken to for medical attention.
Many, including the Media Foundation for West Africa, have condemned the actions of Mr. Dogbe with some demanding his removal since his action, described as shameful, has brought the Presidency into disrepute.
Although the Chief of Staff reportedly took up the matter, nothing has been heard or done about the incident, almost two months after.
The situation prompted the Foundation, which has been championing press freedom in the sub-region, to lead a campaign to get Mr. Dogbe sanctionedfor his action. A petition put together by the Foundation received 155 signatories of journalists from various media institutions in the country.