The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has condemned, outrightly, the reported assault of a Joy News reporter by a security officer of ex-President Mr John Mahama last Monday.

The association described the assault on Mr William Parker at the Pentecost University College at Sowutuom in Accra as “most unfortunate.”

“The ex-president is a man of high respect and a great honour. Also, apart from being a member of the GJA, he has always had cordial relations with the media.

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“It is, therefore, expected that officers who work for him, and on his behalf, will emulate his character in their dealings with the media,” it stated.

Mr Parker, who had been covering the political campaign of the ex-President for some time now, was covering the campaign tour of the former President when he was assaulted.

Swift investigation

In a press statement released in Accra yesterday and signed by the GJA President, Mr Affail Monney, the association expressed appreciation over the purported apology rendered by the said security officer to Mr Parker, and a promise by the office of the ex-president to investigate the incident.

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“These are proactive steps that demonstrate a will to deal with the matter. We, however, hope the investigation will be swift and not shield the perpetrator of the assault from punishment,” it said.

Safety first

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It further called on the Ghana Police Service to investigate the matter and take appropriate steps to bring the perpetrator to book.

“We take this opportunity to reiterate earlier calls by the GJA on the need for journalists to be extremely cautious when covering events in hostile environments, and try, as much as possible, to put safety ahead of the story.

On the way forward, the GJA outlined plans to engage with all stakeholders, including political parties and media owners, on how best to work in harmony and minimise cases of assault against journalists.