February 15, 2019

Ghana: Investigation into journalist’s murder has stalled

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the slow pace and lack of transparency that characterize the Ghanaian police investigation into journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale’s murder. There has been no significant progress in the month since he was shot dead by men on a motorcycle as he drove his car in the capital, Accra, on 16 January.

“Some initial arrests were made and some people were questioned but they were released on police enquiry bail pending further investigation,” Ghanaian police public affairs director David Senanu Eklu told RSF.


A member of Tiger Eye, a team of independent reporters led by famous investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Hussein-Suale helped produce a major documentary on Ghanaian soccer corruption that was broadcast last June. The ensuing wave of threats against several Tiger Eye journalists was greeted with widespread indifference at the time.


“This case should be handled in a diligent and transparent manner by the Ghanaian authorities,” said Assane Diagne, the head of RSF’s West Africa office. “The measures announced by the police are encouraging but they are not enough. Ahmed Hussein-Suale’s murder is all the more disturbing because Ghana has, until now, been seen as a model of respect for the freedom to inform.”


Eklu told RSF that the initial arrests did not constitute a “breakthrough” and that the investigation was still on-going. “These are preliminary arrests and we cannot disclose their identities now since we do not have overwhelming evidence to warrant charges and  prosecution at this stage.”


Meanwhile, no proceedings have so far been initiated against the politicians who had directly threatened Anas and Hussein-Suale.


Ruling party parliamentarian Kennedy Agyapong had said Anas should be “hanged.” He also called for Hussein-Suale to be murdered during an appearance on a TV channel run by his wife, NET 2 TV. While a photo of Hussein-Suale was displayed on screen, Agyapong said: “This Ahmed, you all know he lives in Madina. When you see him, beat him.”


Ghana is ranked 23rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.