"I Felt Safe Practising Under Mahama But Cannot Say Same Today" – Manasseh Azure Awuni
Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has spoken about his work and how safe he feels undertaking it given the high stakes that it sometimes entails. According to him, he has been doing investigative reports since 2013 – the year John Dramani Mahama was sworn in as president for his first full term – and that throughout Mahama’s stay in office, he felt safe practicing despite the stakes.
Manasseh, a one-time journalist of the year, is however worried about his safety and that of others today, citing the level of intolerance and vindictiveness of the current Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government.
“Those of us who are the practitioners when we talk, they don’t want to hear the words as raw as they are. I have been doing critical reporting since 2013 under the administration of John Mahama and at the time I had said on a number of platforms that I never for once had to fear for my life for doing critical reporting. I felt safe but I cannot say same for today,” he said last week on Accra-based 3FM.
It is not the first time he is publicly making such a pronouncement. In recent times he made a social media post to that said, “I have been doing journalism since Kufuor. And, in my view, Akufo-Addo’s era is the worst for journalists in Ghana,” he tweeted on May 4.
“I did some of the most daring works in the John Mahama era, and I never feared for my life as today. The danger is real!” he posted same day on Facebook. Manasseh was speaking in reaction to a recent press freedom report released by Reporters Without Borders, RSF.
Ghana dropped by thirty places on the World Press Freedom Index in a report put together by Reporters Without Borders.
The 2022 report saw Ghana place 60th after placing 30 in 2021.
The latest ranking is the lowest in nearly two decades in the country’s history.
It report is out of 180 countries assessed with Ghana recording a decline in its indicative points from 78.67 percent to 67.43 compared to last year.
The report pointed to the arrest of some journalists and the unresolved murder of Ahmed Suale as a case study for their assessment of press freedom in Ghana.
In its reaction, government questioned the methodology used and also deflected the cause of the low ranking to actions by independent state agencies like the Police. Source: ghanaweb.com