This statement was originally published on www.mfwa.org on August 29, 2018.
Thugs believed to have been hired by a politican, Hassan Ayariga, have attacked a senior reporter with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bawku, in the Upper East Region of Ghana.
Having invited the reporter, Jerry Azanduna, to a supposed press conference to be addressed by Mr. Ayariga on August 27, 2018, the thugs, numbering five, offered to take the journalist to the conference venue in their car, according to a story published by the GNA.
Instead, Azanduna was driven to the house of Ayariga and assaulted, allegedly, on the orders of the politician who questioned the journalist over a recent story he had written about him (Ayariga).
The GNA reported Azanduna was severely beaten while an armed policeman stood by unconcerned. The journalist suffered bruises all over his body, including both eyes. He is reported to be responding to treatment at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital, after being issued with a police medical form.
Meanwhile, Ayariga, who has reportedly spurned an opportunity to react to the “offending” publication, after calling the GNA to protest against it, has refused to comment on the assault and his alleged involvement.
The MFWA condemns the brutality meted out to Azanduna and calls for thorough investigations into the assault. We believe that as the founder of a political party and two-time candidate in Ghana’s presidential elections, Ayariga would not condone such a blatant violation of press freedom and the human rights of a fellow citizen. We are therefore disappointed at his silence over the incident which he is expected to condemn, no matter who the culprits are.