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Former president's guards assault newspaper journalist

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 8 November 2008, Wisdom Peter Awuku, a reporter for the "Daily Guide", an Accra-based privately-owned newspaper, was allegedly assaulted by three men guarding a house belonging to Ghana's former president, Jerry John Rawlings, in Vume, a town near Sogakope in the Volta Region.

According to Awuku, the guards assaulted him and briefly confiscated his camera, mobile phone and car key.

An MFWA correspondent reported that Awuku had gone to the area to follow up on an earlier story the newspaper had published about a dead man found lying in front of the former president's house.

Awuku told the correspondent that the guards prevented him from photographing the house because he did not have permission to do so. When he repositioned himself to take shots of the river on which the dead body was reported to have been floating, the security guards besieged him and hit him on the neck before taking away his equipment.

The correspondent said Akwasi Asafo-Adjei, the Sogakope district police commander intervened to assist the journalist in retrieving his equipment.

When contacted, Kofi Adams, a special assistant to the former president, condemned the "Daily Guide" and accused it of being unprofessional. Adams told MFWA that the guards did not abuse the journalist's rights and that their actions were justified.

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