Citi FM journalist Caleb Kudah, who was arrested for filming the National Security premises, has said he was slapped by operatives while in detention.
Narrating his ordeal, Caleb said “They pushed me and I sat on the chair. They [National Security operatives] slapped me from the back.
“I was trying to appeal to them that they had beaten me enough, but they were just slapping me from the back. I’ll be talking to another one and someone will just come and slap me from the back.”
Meanwhile, President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Roland Affial Monney has said he erred in filming the security premises.
He said Caleb broke the ethics of the profession by filming the premises.
“Caleb erred as far as our ethics is concerned. He clearly breached the ethics relative to Article 13 of our own code of ethics which specifies journalists should take pictures through fair, straight forward and honest means unless tampered by national interest.
“Caleb shouldn’t have filmed without permission and Caleb should have realized that place is a security zone and in every security zone, the security laws apply. It is a no go area as far as photography is concerned and his violation of regulation might have triggered the over reaction from the security operatives. His interest here is not so clear. From the face of it, we believe he erred,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.
Adding his voice to this development, the Executive Secretary of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Mr Sulemana Braimah, has stated that the management of Citi FM somehow betrayed their employee in this matter.
Mr Braimah who described the arrest of the journalist as needless told TV3’s Komla Adom in an interview on the Midday news Wednesday May 12 that the public deserves to know the real reasons behind Calab’s presence at the premises of the security installation.
“I think [arrest] was an act that was unnecessary. Whatever infractions the police thought the journalist had committed, the remedial action that was intended could have been sought without the raid that was conducted.
“The other part is on the management of Citi FM, Citi TV. They owe the public some explanation in terms of what exactly was the journalist doing.
“I have just read something on their platform and they talk about the journalist had gone to film abandoned cars. What is the genesis to this? Is it the case that the journalist was just passing by and saw the cars, they looked beautiful and he decided to film or there is a story behind what the journalist had done?
“To leave and it and people are talking about it as though, as a journalist, didn’t he know it is a security zone? Didn’t he know it is a restricted area?
“For me, somehow it is a betrayal of the journalists. I think Citi FM should explain to the public that the journalist was following a particular story because I know Caleb had earlier done a story abandoned MASLOC vehicles. Is it the same vehicles we are talking about? In fact when that story was done there was a denial to say that what the journalist had done had put out a fake story. Subsequently, if me memory serves right, the story was taken down.
“So is it the same story we are talking about? No journalist will be happy if they do a story they know it is true and based on some pressures from elsewhere the story is then taken down to create the impression they had done some false publication.
“Is it the case that the journalist was trying to affirm whatever he has said earlier which was discounted.
“If it is the case, is it something the Citi FM endorses or is it the case that that the journalist went out there to do his independent thing , we only have a concern about the way and manner the Police raided our place. Other than that the journalist was not doing anything journalistic. It is important that we get to know the fact.”
The General Manager of Citi FM, Mr Bernard Avle however explained also in interview with Komla Adom the reasons behind Caleb presence at the national security premises.
He said “We know now that he had gone to film some vehicles parked beyond the car park of the building. There are two buildings in that place, the Ministry and the National security building then there is car park. Then there is a shed across the car park across some abandoned vehicles.
“So, now we know he was filming some of the abandoned vehicles and running some commentaries. We know that in the past he has done a couple of reports on social media on abandoned vehicles so he had gone to get more information on those cars.”
He added “Whether he was assigned or not, a journalist work is not only when an editor has assigned the journalist. If you are a journalist you can be driving and see something and want to do a story.”
He further stated that the management is still gathering information about whey the Police raided their office.
“We are engaging with the authorities involved to try and get a full sense of why they did what they did, why they used the kind of force they did, so it is still early days yet. The more information we have then we will now specifically what actions to take.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana