Accra, Sept. 15, GNA — The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) is demanding swift action against loyalists of Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah, Head Pastor of Glorious Word Power Ministries International for attacking journalists.
It said the Ghanaian media community was "again enduring excruciating pain following “shameful attacks"” perpetrated by loyalists of the Head Pastor at the premises of an Accra High Court, where he had been standing trial for alleged assault and other offenses.
A statement signed by Mr Affail Monney, President of the Association and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said "muscled men" of the Church reportedly prevented court reporters from gaining access to the room to perform their legitimate duty, and visited mayhem on those who dared them, with brazen impunity.
It said "GJA vehemently condemn the latest desecration of the rights of journalists, an affront of press freedom and demands swift justice against the uncouth men of Rev Bempah".
“While we welcome the apology of the Police Administration and assurance of future protection for journalists, the GJA principally holds the view that the timely gesture of the rebranded Ghana Police does not and should not absolve the offenders from tasting the biting edge of the law as articulated by Article 17(1) of the Constitution which simply says no one is above the law,” it said.
The statement noted that on Friday, March 15, 2019, Rev Bempah stormed the premises of Radio XYZ in the company of four-gun wielding "thugs" in search of a radio presenter at the station, resulting in the molestation of the administrator and staff of the station.
It said nothing punitive happened to the ‘Man of God’ and on December 13, 2018, he vandalised equipment at Hot FM, and thereafter, walked a free man.
The statement said, Rev Bempah and his followers did, and said "anything with careless abandon and impunity until the air of untouchability surrounding them was punctured" with the latest arrest.
The GJA urged the law-and-order community not to allow the latest attacks against journalists be swept under the carpet and that justice must manifestly and expeditiously be done the victims to amplify the message that no one was above the law.