April 9, 2020

Ghana urged to ensure safety of reporters covering Covid-19

@Yussif Abdul-Ganiyu
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Ghanaian authorities to guarantee the safety of media personnel covering the coronavirus crisis after a radio journalist was attacked by a soldier and then placed in police custody while reporting in Kumasi, a city 259 km northwest of Accra, on 5 April.

 Yussif Abdul-Ganiyu, a correspondent of German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s Africa service and manager of Kumasi-based Zuria FM, was clubbed by a female army officers while out covering the effectiveness of the lockdown in a Kumasi suburb.


After the attack by the soldier, Abdul-Ganiyu was placed in police custody and his equipment was confiscated, RSF has learned. Accused of broadcasting false information about an alleged case of military brutality on Zuria FM, he was soon released without charge after a local elected official intervened.


“The authorities must condemn this attack and must guarantee the physical safety of journalists who are putting their lives and health at risk to inform the public about this public health crisis,” said Assane Diagne, the director of RSF’s West Africa office. “The respect for press freedom normally observed in Ghana must be maintained, even at times of crisis.”


Deutsche Welle has sent a letter about the incident to Ghanaian information minister Oppong Nkrumah.


Ghana is ranked 27th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.