Conveners of #WETAYA MarchWithCaleb protest to defy police disapproval

The convenors of #MarchWithCaleb (WeTaya), say they will go ahead with their planned protest despite its disapproval by the Ghana Police Service.

The group insists the police do not have the powers under the constitution to deny them their right to protest.

Their intention is to protest against the detention and assault of Citi News‘ Caleb Kudah, and the invasion of Citi FM by National Security operatives.

The assault on Caleb Kudah on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, has dominated discussions in Ghana, and raised several concerns about how the National Security outfit generally operates in ways that trample on the rights of citizens.

Mr. Kudah was detained and assaulted by National Security operatives for filming abandoned MASLOC vehicles parked at the premises of the security agency.

Some heavily-armed National Security operatives subsequently stormed the premises of Citi FM/Citi TV to pick up another Broadcast Journalist, Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo for receiving the files captured by Mr. Kudah.

The convenors of the protest have in a statement called on Ghanaians to join the action, adding that the routes for the protest would be communicated later.

They insist the police service is using some strategies to prevent them from protesting.

It has thus urged its lawyers to respond to the police that their planned protest will come off on May 22, 2021, as communicated earlier.

“We are convinced and reliably advised that the police do not have the authority to grant or reject our right to protest under the constitution.”

“We are also convinced and reliably advised that the police cannot use their responsibilities under Section 2 of the Public Order Act to direct the routes of the event, the prevention of obstruction of pedestrians or vehicular movement as a basis to deny us our right to protest. As such, we have advised our lawyers to reply to the police on the grounds stated during the meeting and in their letter.”

The group made known its position in a press statement issued on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

What is the latest on the assault on Caleb?

The National Media Commission (NMC), has begun its investigations into the assault on Citi FM journalist Caleb Kudah, the harassment of another journalist, Zoe Abu-Baidoo, and the subsequent invasion of the media organization by National Security operatives.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, George Sarpong, made this known in an interview with journalists in Accra on Thursday, May 20, 2021. This comes after the Commission received a petition from the Accra-based radio and TV station.

Background

Mr. Caleb Kudah was arrested at the National Security Ministry on Tuesday for filming abandoned MASLOC vehicles parked at the premises of the Ministry.

He was at the Ministry to verify a claim by an official of MASLOC that all the cars had been given out.

This was after Caleb Kudah had complained about the wastage of public funds on social media.

A team of heavily-armed SWAT police officers subsequently were dispatched to arrest  Citi News‘ Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo at the premises of Citi FM/Citi TV.

This is because Caleb had forwarded some of the footage he captured to Zoe via WhatsApp.

Mr. Caleb Kudah in an interview with Bernard Avle on The Point Of View on Citi TV indicated that he was slapped several times by the security officers.

About 15 organizations including civil society groups and political parties, have condemned the incident and backed calls for investigations, whiles calling for reforms in the national security setup.

The National Security Ministry says it has initiated a probe into the case.

 

 



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