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Two newspaper journalists arrested, released following six-hour detention

(MFWA/IFEX) - Awudu Mahama, a parliamentary reporter, and photographer Emmanuel Kubi, both of the "Daily Guide", an Accra-based, privately-owned newspaper, were reportedly detained on 2 June 2009 at the headquarters of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for allegedly loitering around the security zone.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent reported that the two journalists were arrested in the morning and detained for about six hours before being released without charge.

Mahama said that they had gone to the residence of the minority leader in parliament, which is near the BNI's office, and were resting under a tree when they were arrested.

Reacting to the detention of the journalist, Deputy Minister of Information James Agyenim-Boateng told the media at a press conference on 3 June that the two reporters were picked up when the BNI CCTV camera captured them loitering near the office. According to the minister, they were "educated not to loiter around security zones".

The arrest of the two happened around the same time Kwadwo Mpiani, a former chief of staff and minister of presidential affairs of the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, was to report at the BNI for interrogation. Mpiani was allegedly interrogated on a number of issues including expenditures on Ghana's jubilee celebration in 2007. Hundreds of NPP supporters had gathered at the BNI in support of Mpiani.

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