The Police in New Edubiase in the Ashanti Region have arrested a reader of Whatsup News and strangely slapped with criminal charges for sharing verified stories from Whatsup News, Ghana’s only virtual newspaper.
Mr. Francis Kwame Konu, an avid reader of Whatsup News was taken into custody last week and had frantically placed a telephone call to Whatsup News to save him from the clutches of the Police.
Mr. Konu claim the police charged him for spreading “False News”, despite the news being a verified report by Whatsup News from a press conference organised by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) recently.
He has since been granted bail over the curious offence.
Meanwhile, enquiries by Whatsup News have since led a phone encounter with one Inspector Dodoo of the New Edubiase Police, who has since invited an Editor of Whatsup News. According to ASP. Dodoo the story in question breached the Criminal code, Act 29 as the government and security agencies secretly sneak in the repealed criminal libel law to harass Journalists.
The record of the Akufo Addo administration on press freedom is on an all-time low as the government and its inspired security agents have been fingered in several cases of victimisation of journalists for exposing rot in society.
The latest harassment of Whatsup News readers is a new phase in the sustained attacks on media organisations with an uncompromising stance against public cover-ups. This is the first time a reader of a publication who had shared it with his friends have been targeted.
The incident started when Whatsup News had last week reported on allegations by the NDC that people of Ewe and Northern ethnicities were openly being harassed and violently by residents of New Edubiase,
The NDC in a press statement alleged that residents of Ashanti ethnicities in the area were threatening other tribes to leave their town as the EC started its controversial new voters’ register exercise.
Whatsup News’ story was headlined: “Ashantis In New Edubiase Tell Ewes and Northerners to Leave,” as reported by the NDC during their press conference.
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Director of Elections for the NDC who had lamented about the ethnocentrism had warned that the harassment of Ewes and Northerners in New Edubiase did not augur well for the national cohesion.
“In New Edubiase, there are reported cases of NPP supporters hurling insults at Ewes and people of Northern descent asking them to go and register in their hometowns. This development is very backward and a major setback to our national unity agenda. Every Ghanaian is entitled to live in any part of Ghana. It is therefore awkward that same will be happening in the 21st Century Ghana. We wish to encourage the NCCE to scale up perpetrators in this regard,” Mr. Afriyie Ankrah had said.
He had had video footages to back the concern. Later footages of the harassments emerged on social media confirming the reports.
Fortunately, copies of the press statement which the NDC used to detail the ethnocentric hounding of Ewes and Northerners are readily available. Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah had also said the party had compiled the evidence for the Police but so far the Police has done nothing about the evidence.
In fact, the NDC Director of Elections had gone on to warn that if the Police kept being aloof to the atrocities that the party’s supporters were suffering in spite of the evidence provided, the NDC would advise its members and supporters to also arm themselves.