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An access to information bill currently under consideration in Ghana will do more harm than good, according to the Coalition on the Right to Information in Ghana, which has called for a review of the proposed legislation. 

On July 2, 2013, nine judges on Ghana's Supreme Court convicted Ken Kuranchie, editor-in-chief of the Daily Searchlight, of criminal contempt in connection with his critical articles. The journalist was sentenced to 10 days in jail, according to news reports.

Several journalists reported being attacked in the aftermath of Ghana's contested presidential elections on December 7, 2012, according to CPJ interviews, news reports, and local press freedom organizations.

Victor Kwawukume was attacked by police while covering a raid. (Victor Kwawukume)

Abuja, June 15, 2012--Authorities in Ghana must investigate the assault on a journalist by police while covering a police raid in Ho, the capital of Ghana's Volta region, and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Victor Kwawukume, who reports for the state-owned Daily Graphic and is the regional chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, was attacked by four unidentified police officers on June 10 as he covered a raid in Ho in which police arrested suspected criminals and drug peddlers, according to news reports. Kwawukume said he verbally identified himself as a journalist, but the officers attacked him, violently hitting him on the head and seizing his camera, the reports said.

New York, May 16, 2012--President Obama should acknowledge the role that independent news reporting plays in assessing agricultural challenges and facilitating the response to famine, the Committee to Protect Journalists stated in a letter to the White House. Ethiopia in particular downplays the extent of food crises and undermines the ability of donor nations and aid groups to help by denying journalists access to sensitive areas and censoring independent coverage.

New York, January 13, 2012---Authorities in Ghana should launch a thorough and transparent investigation into reports that state security agents on Thursday brutalized a photojournalist covering the high-profile court case of a senior police official, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

New York, July 23, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Ghana’s attorney general to drop prosecution of prominent journalist Ato Kwamena Dadzie under the 1960 criminal code in an attempt to get him to reveal his sources.

Monitor reporter Angelo Izama, right, went through the courts to gain access to government documents and was denied. (Monitor)

In Uganda, a ruling this week in a landmark case of two journalists seeking to compel their government’s disclosure of multinationals oil deals highlighted the challenges to public transparency just before media leaders, press freedom advocates, officials, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter gather in Ghana next week at the African Regional Conference on the Right of Access to Information.

Reporters who dig up carefully buried facts about those in power can easily find themselves in danger. In countries where a tradition of watchdog journalism has not yet taken hold, the risks of practicing investigative reporting can be real and physical for those reporters that take it on.
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Africa

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Sue Valentine

Advocacy Coordinator:
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