The opposition National Democratic Congress has called for the resignation of the National Security minister Albert Kan-Dapaah over the torture of some journalists.
A statement signed by the National Communications Officer Sammy Gyamfi said the party is ‘utterly disgusted’ and ‘completely outraged’ at news that National Security operatives tortured an editor of online news portal ModernGhana.com after he was arrested with two others.
The editor, Emmanuel Ajafor Abugri, was released from an undisclosed location on Saturday after he was picked up with his colleagues last Thursday.
Breaking his silence in an interview on Joy FM Midday News Monday, he alleged he was beaten, elbowed and subjected to electric shocks.
He said despite the National Security’s claim he was picked up over cybercrime allegations, none of this was a subject during his one-hour interrogation and torture.
He said his detention was based on the publication of two opinion articles on the protracted conflict at the University of Education, Winneba.
The National Security Council Secretariat has denied the allegations and wants the journalist medically examined for proof of torture.
The NDC catalogued a list of attacks on journalists including the murder of an undercover operative with journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, in January.
Sammy Gyamfi said Ghana is experiencing a “creeping culture of silence” under President Nana Akufo-Addo.
He said this is “a natural culmination of our collective silence over one too many attacks on journalists which have gone unpunished in recent time. To remain silent is to allow evil to triumph, to keep mute over these happenings is to encourage this sinister tide.”
Portions of the statement read;
”The time has come to say enough is enough! The time is now for the Ghanaian people to bare our teeth at this Akufo-Addo government and send a clear message to this regime that Ghana’s democracy and our freedom of speech were won at a price, and not gifted to us on a silver platter.
The media has always been a critical lighthouse of our democracy whose light is fast dimming under President Akufo-Addo, as Ghana’s enviable reputation of a democratic torchbearer in Africa remains under threat.
The NDC hereby calls on Albert Kan Dapaah to immediately resign as National Security Minister or be suspended by the President, to allow for a full-scale investigation into allegations of torture of the journalists. We submit that all those found culpable must be dealt with in accordance with law.
It is a shame that President Akufo-Addo is presiding over these barbaric attacks on press freedom and egregious human right violations. His deafening silence on this and similar acts of repression does not do his reputation any good. As a vainglorious believer in the rule of law and a self-acclaimed human rights champion, he can do better. These barbaric acts will forever remain a blot on his reputation if he fails to act.
He must for once, live up to expectation by ensuring that justice is served in this matter. Any attempt to trivialize this issue as we have seen in times past will only encourage the impunity that is already on the prowl in our nation. The time to act to safeguard our democracy is now.”