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ASEPA petitions US Embassy to invoke visa sanctions on Ken Agyapong over threats on journalist

Think tank Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has petitioned the US Department of State via US Embassy to invoke visa sanctions on Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong, for threatening a Multimedia Group Journalist, Erastus Asare Donkor.

The statement signed by ASEPA Executive Director, Mensah Thompson, and copied to the Us Ambassador to Ghana and the Speaker of Parliament and the Ghana Journalist Association, describes Agyapong as a politician “who has continuously put the lives of innocent Journalists in Ghana at risk with one casualty already recorded.”

Below is the statement;

Background

Agyapong has been referred to appear before the Privileges Committee in Ghana’s Parliament over the threats that have infuriated many Ghanaians, especially journalists in the country.

The vociferous MP who is also the Chairman of Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee is reported to have verbally abused and threatened to attack Asare Donkor and incited the public against the Luv FM journalist last Friday on his private TV station-Net 2 TV.

He said the “shoddy work” of  Kumasi-based journalist sparked the recent shootings and killing incidents at Ejura in the Ashanti Region.

The incident led to the Multimedia and its lawyers petitioning the Deputy Regional Police Commander, Ashanti Region, and demanded security protection for Erastus Asare Donkor.

Citing events that led to the murder of an investigative journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale, Management of The Multimedia Group described the threats of the MP as, “life-threatening.”

The complaint was copied to 14 officials, including the Chief of Staff, Ministers of Interior and National Security, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Ashanti Regional Minister, the Inspector General of Police, the Director of Criminal Investigation Department.

Others who were copied include the Country Director of Media Foundation for West Africa, the Human Rights Watch, and the International Federation of Journalists.

Apart from the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and media advocacy groups that have condemned Agyapong, he has been slammed by his colleague legislators for being “reckless”.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, has commended the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon. Alban Bagbin for referring Agyapong to Parliament’s Privileges Committee.

“For me,  that is legendary…It is just that we are not serious as a people. In a serious democracy, this man should not be a free man walking. I am not saying that he killed Ahmed Suale; that’s not what I’m saying but at least he brought the guy’s picture and asked people to hurt him when they see him, and few weeks the guy was barbarously murdered,” he told the host of Inside Politics on Power FM, Mugabe Maase.

This is the second time the Assin Central MP is being hauled to the Privileges Committee. In the 7th Parliament, Agyapong was dragged before the committee for passing derogatory comments on Parliament.

 

By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana

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