The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has condemned attacks on media houses by some members of political groups, following the conduct of the 2020 general elections.
Members of some political groups have criticised the media for allegedly doing the bidding of their opponents during the general election.
GIBA in a statement, however, dismissed these claims.
It said the attacks on media houses are unfounded, given that they discharged their duties independently during the elections without interference from the Electoral Commission and political parties.
“We deem any attack on a media house for carrying out its mandate or a journalist for responding to duty call in the interest of Ghana, as a sheer act of ghetto styled thuggery and baseless criminal cowardice,” the Association added.
It called on security agencies to “extend post-election surveillance to the various media houses issued with threats and to expose the perpetrators behind these attacks.”
Below is the statement from GIBA
GIBA REACTS TO POST-ELECTIONS 2020 ATTACKS ON MEDIA HOUSES AND JOURNALISTS
The attention of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has been drawn to the series of politically motivated physical and verbal attacks on its members by some political groups in the aftermath of the 2020 elections.
It should be brought to the attention of these groups that just as they believe to have the right to exist and exercise their freedom to express themselves as citizens of Ghana, so do media practitioners also have the right to exist and carry out their mandated duties as enshrined in the Constitution of the fourth republic of Ghana. Article 162 of the Constitution insulates the media to disseminate and exchange information without hindrance.
It is the belief of GIBA that the attacks are as a result of utterances from some leaders of political parties who may be dissatisfied with the outcome of the 2020 General Elections. It must be stated here categorically that media houses in Ghana work independently of the Electoral Commission of Ghana. Again, media houses had correspondents in the polling stations and constituencies all over the country during the elections and took information directly from such places.
GIBA vehemently condemns the attacks on the media houses and journalists in particular. We equally reject any unsubstantiated claim of media bias and insults from any quarter of the political divide. We deem any attack on a media house for carrying out its mandate or a journalist for responding to duty call in the interest of Ghana, as a sheer act of ghetto styled thuggery and baseless criminal cowardice.
GIBA hereby call on all well-meaning political leaders, religious and traditional authorities, Civil Society organisations, Students’ Bodies, the TUC and all others to speak out in condemnation of these attacks. GIBA also calls on the leadership of all the political parties to rein in and call their followers to restrain themselves from these criminal activities.
GIBA assures all that, together with the mandated regulatory agencies on media in Ghana, we are committed to handling fairly any complaint bothering on unfairness and irregularities on reportage that is brought to our attention.
The security agencies are hereby called upon to extend post-election surveillance to the various media houses issued with threats and to expose the perpetrators behind these attacks.
GIBA reserves every right to take any defensive action in the interest of its members and staff should the attacks persist.