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Two radio journalists assaulted by political party supporters, another by police officer

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 28 December 2008, Alex Kobina Mensah, a journalist with Joy FM, an Accra-based independent radio station, was allegedly assaulted by supporters of Ghana's main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in Ashaiman, a town in the Greater Accra Region. The NDC supporters apparently were displeased with a report prepared by Mensah.

The MFWA's correspondent reported that Mensah was punched several times and was almost lynched, but was saved by the timely intervention of other NDC supporters. The journalist lost his cellular phone and 250 Ghana Cedis (approx. US$250) were stolen during the assault.

The assault followed a report that Mensah submitted to the radio station about acts of vandalism at a hotel believed to be keeping already-printed ballot papers in favour of Nana Akufo-Addo, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate.

The Ashaiman Constituency is a NDC stronghold.

On the same day, in the Ashanti Region, two journalists were also assaulted while covering the run-off elections.

Bright Abayie, a correspondent for Nhyira FM, a Kumasi-based radio station, was attacked by NPP supporters in the Asokwa Electoral area. An Nhyira FM official, Alex Asamoah, told MFWA that Abayie came upon on the NPP supporters as they were allegedly engaging in electoral irregularities.

Asamoah said that the NPP supporters were outraged by Abayie's presence and accused him of reporting on their actions. The matter is currently being investigated by the police.

Journalist Hackman K. Afriyie was also slapped by a policewoman at a polling station in Offinso North Constituency and was detained for about an hour at the Akomadan police station. MFWA learned that the policewoman accused the journalist of interfering with the electoral process.

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