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Police arrest, briefly detain journalist over allegedly "false reports"

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 10 June 2008, Edmond Gyebi, a Northern Regional correspondent for "The Chronicle", an independent Accra-based daily newspaper, was arrested and briefly detained in the office of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police over a live report he made on a radio station.

MFWA's correspondent reported that, at the time of his arrest, Gyebi was contributing to a live report about an outbreak of violence in Tamale, the regional capital, on Peace FM, an Accra-based local-language radio station.

Gyebi told MFWA that he was in the company of a Peace FM reporter and was contributing to his report when the police pulled him into their van and took him to the station.

The journalist said the police accused him of sending "false reports" and detained him for several hours. It took the intervention of the Northern Regional police commander, Ephraim Oko Brakatu, to attain his release.

MFWA is concerned at the tendency of police personnel to arbitrarily interfere with the work of journalists in Ghana. MFWA urges police authorities to educate their personnel on how to deal with journalists going about their work, and ensure they desist from harassing media personnel, especially in light of the upcoming December general elections.

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