Legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini, says that he disagrees with claims that Citi FM journalist, Caleb Kudah breached the Ghana Journalists Association’s Code of Ethics by filming at the premises of the National Security.
He was reacting to the assertion of President of the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA), Roland Affail Monney, that the journalist had flouted the Association’s ethics by his act. His comments were also in response to the perception that Caleb Kudah committed a crime by that act for which reason the security operatives arrested him.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsnight, he stated that breaching a code of conduct is not equal to a crime and dared that a public law that says people cannot take pictures at public offices in the interest of the people be cited.
“Assuming without admitting that he breached the code of ethics, what sort of crime is that? Is that a crime for which the police and the national security can arrest anybody? It is not, and we have to give that education very clearly. A breach of the GJA code of ethics is not a crime. There is public law, there is private law and this one doesn’t even come anywhere close.”
Mr Anyenini added that even though the Association’s code of ethics clearly spells out to journalists how they should obtain information, it also ensures that practitioners are able to secure same in cases where they are facing interference.https://1400b090705d3b727db8c577a1404ab8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
He said that “the particular provision he [Affail Monney] talks about says, journalists must obtain information generally through straight-forward means’. But there’s a caveat there and I am not sure I heard him quote the caveat. If your attempt to secure information through straight-forward means is being frustrated, you are allowed to procure it through other means.”
Caleb Kudah and Zoe Abu-Baidoo were reportedly picked up by National Security operatives. According to sources, the operatives stormed the premises of the Adabraka-based radio station to whisk away the journalist and his colleague.
The sources added that he was arrested for allegedly filming at the premises of the National Security premises in Accra.
Speaking on Wednesday, Roland Affail Monney indicated that the journalist in question accessed information through a means which flies in the face of Article 13 of the GJA Code of Ethics.https://1400b090705d3b727db8c577a1404ab8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Although reports say Caleb Kudah’s action was in the public interest, the GJA President stated that his efforts were unclear. “From the face of it, we believe he erred.” he said.
However, Mr Anyenini said that the national security has failed to give details of the crime they claim Caleb Kudah committed.
He said that claims that Caleb Kudah took videos on their premises even after seeing a no picture sign, does not equal a crime.
“The law says nothing is an offence unless it is defined by law and the penalty is prescribed in a written law. It doesn’t say that the thing is written on a wall or that there’s a signage that says this place, do not trespass,” he told Evans Mensah.https://1400b090705d3b727db8c577a1404ab8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Meanwhile, narrating his ordeal at the hands of the operatives, Caleb Kudah said he was assaulted by the security officials who took him in, to take his statement.
He further pointed out that, he was put in handcuffs and assaulted till he felt dizzy at a point in time.
“They were still beating me, slapping me from the back, I will be talking to another one and someone will come and slap me from the back and you feel dizzy at once. At this point, they had handcuffed me and every now and again, one will come and press it harder so that I feel the pain.”
“Along the line, a man identified as Agyeman came in. I tried to talk to him and immediately he asked me to kneel down and he kicked me in the groin. I tried to plead with him that sir, they have beaten me enough, I beg you please let me go because he told me to kneel down, but he kicked me in the groin.”