The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), a pressure group based in Accra, has called for the removal of Mr. Roland Affail Monney as the President of the Ghana Journalists Association.
Mensah Thompson, Executive Director of ASEPA justifies the call by branding Mr. Monney a traitor over his comment in response to the brutal arrest and assault of a Citi FM journalist, Caleb Kudah, by operatives of National Security on Tuesday.
According to ASEPA, Mr. Monney’s comment that Mr. Kudah’s decision to film at the premises of National Security violates the code of ethics of the GJA, amounted to selling out the journalist to the enemy.
“We are therefore calling for the immediate removal of Mr. Affail Monney as GJA President, this is the only way the GJA can distance itself from the comments of Mr. Monney and show solidarity to their compatriots. We would graciously be on standby to launch a serious campaign against Mr. Monney if he fails to resign or if the GJA fails to remove him as President,” the group said in the press statement.
Mr. Kudah had been set on by a group of heavily armed National Security personnel who had stormed the Adabraka office of Citi FM and picked him and another journalist, Zoe Abu-Baidoo, up for questioning.
Mr. Kudah would later emerge and narrate horrible mob beating sessions he had endured at the hands of Police personnel who had handcuffed him and forced him among other things, to kneel down.
However, Mr. Affail Monney had responded to the arrest by faulting Mr. Kudah for filming on the National Security premises saying it went against both the code of ethics of the GJA and the Constitution of Ghana.
“Caleb erred as far as our ethics is concerned. He clearly breached the ethics relative to Article 13 of our own Code of Ethics which specifies that journalists should take pictures through fair, straightforward and honest means unless tampered with by national interest.
“His interest here is not so clear. From the face of it, we believe he erred,” The GJA President said.
Interestingly, his position has been countered by Lawyer Lardy Anyenini who has said that since the videos that Mr. Kudah was filming was about abandoned National Security property, his action was in the public interest and therefore did not warrant any arrest.
ASEPA, described Mr. Affail Monney statement as cowardly.
“What Mr. Monney has done is to encourage the brutal assault of Journalists (which has become the current norm) if the Security Agencies are convinced that the Journalist breached any law. So once they are convinced that a journalist violated any law, they are free to exact any form of violence and abuse on the person that cannot be good for the optics coming from the GJA President.”
They added that, “We believe this is a betrayal of the GJA and its President not only to Mr. Caleb Kudah and Ms. Zoe but to the entire Journalist fraternity in the Country and must be treated with all seriousness.”