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Police manhandle journalists and briefly detain them

(MFWA/IFEX) - Two journalists of privately-owned Accra-based newspapers were violently attacked by armed policemen on the night of 19 January 2007.

Anas Aremeyaw Anas, an investigative journalist for the "Crusading Guide", and Halifax Ansah-Addo, reporter for the "Daily Guide", were beaten, paraded alongside suspected criminals, and detained for about twenty minutes at the police headquarters, before being released.

Ansah-Addo's digital camera was smashed on the ground.

MFWA's correspondent reported that at about 11:00 p.m. (GMT) the journalists went to a popular spot in an Accra suburb to cover a police raid to clamp down on the activities of suspected prostitutes, where they were attacked.

The correspondent said the police raid was based on an investigation by Anas, who had produced a video recording of the prostitution activities.

Ansah-Addo, who reported the incident in the "Daily Guide", told MFWA that even revealing their identities as journalists was not enough to convince the two policemen to stop mistreating them.

He said that following the beating his nose bled profusely, while Anas had a swollen face. The two journalists were made to sit on the floor with the suspects, and made to put their hands on their heads for about thirty minutes. They were later whisked away to the Police Headquarters and detained briefly.

The MFWA later learnt that it took the intervention of several senior policemen to arrange for their release. The police have since apologized to the journalists.

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