Attack on UTV a blatant violation of free speech, freedom of the media – Alan Kyerematen



Presidential aspirant, Alan Kyerematen has condemned the alleged invasion of the studios of UTV by some individuals, on Saturday evening, during the broadcast of United Showbiz.

In a statement on his official Facebook page, Mr Kyerematen called the attack a violation of two fundamental principles enshrined in Ghana’s constitution – Freedom of the Media and Free Speech.

“This incident was a wanton display of arrogance of power and indiscipline, issues that have hindered our progress as a nation for far too long. Our Constitution, particularly Article 162, strongly safeguards the independence of the media, and vehemently opposes any interference or harassment based on editorial opinions, views, or content,” he noted.

Mr Kyerematen commended the police for their swift response in arresting the perpetrator stating that it is important to protect and uphold the media’s independence.

He called for the people responsible for the attack on UTV to be held accountable and brought to book.

“I call for the immediate and just prosecution of all individuals involved, as we must resoundingly convey that such actions have no place in our democratic society. Let us always remember that a free and independent media is the cornerstone of a thriving democracy.”

“It is our collective responsibility to uphold and protect these principles, which are essential to our progress as a people. Ghana will rise again,” he added.

Already, the Ghana Police Service says it has arrested 16 people for their role in the attack and has commenced investigations into the incident.

This was after a noise obstructed the normal programming at the studio shortly after their United Showbiz programme began.

Subsequent online videos showed a group claiming to be affiliated with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) storming the UTV studios during the live broadcast to demand an apology from one of the panellists, A-Plus.

They claimed he had insulted the party, the president and the vice president.

Following their arrest, the host of the show, MzGee, apologised to the viewers for the disruption and assured everyone of their safety.

Meanwhile, the attack on UTV has evoked widespread condemnation from Ghanaians, who have called for swift action to bring those responsible to justice.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Ministry of Informational have both condemned the attack.

The NMC said it will roll out a comprehensive programme to reactivate the “Coordinated Mechanism for the safety of journalists to ensure the media continue to operate without fear.”

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