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Upper East Regional GJA President worried attacks on journalists could increase ahead of 2024 election

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William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, is concerned that attacks on journalists may worsen before the general election in 2024. He is concerned because little to nothing has been done to hold those responsible for attacks on journalists accountable.

He spoke on the Day Break Upper East Show on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. In a recent release by Reporters without Borders, Ghana dropped from 3rd to 10th on the Press Freedom Index for Africa and from 30th to 60th on the world ranking of the same index.

The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) is a UN-recognized international day observed annually on 2 November.

The day draws attention to the level of impunity for crimes against journalists, which remains extremely high globally. Between 2006 and 2020, over 1,200 journalists have been killed around the world, with close to 9 out of 10 cases of these killings remaining judicially unresolved, according to the UNESCO observatory of killed journalists. As journalists play a critical role in reporting facts to all citizens, impunity for attacks against them has a particularly damaging impact, limiting public awareness and constructive debate.

On 2 November, organisations and individuals worldwide are encouraged to talk about the unresolved cases in their countries, and write to government and intra-governmental officials to demand action and justice.

The continuous refusal of the state and state enforcement agencies to crack the whip on perpetrators fuels the attacks, according to Mr. Jalulah. 

“If nothing is done about the cases that have occurred, as we even go into the elections, they [the attacks] could increase. For me, the election activities even start from next year. All the political parties would start criss-crossing the country with the internal party arrangement and all of that. So we have to begin to look at how we can resolve the unresolved cases. Those who have perpetrated crimes against journalists, we should get them punished so that it would deter others.”

Mr, Jalulah, who doubles as General Manager for A1 Radio, subsidiary of Agreed Best Company explained that as a way of helping journalists get support to seek justice when they are attacked, the GJA has instituted a support fund. 

“The GJA, as part of the commemoration of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI), launched the support fund at the national level. We got huge financial support. A lot of money was donated. We know that over the years, journalists get attacked and sometimes, even medical bills become a problem for them to pay. This fund is going to support such things. Those who have been attacked and they think they want to go to court, the fund would support all these,” he said. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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