United Nations Special Rapporteurs have charged the Ghanaian government with the responsibility of ensuring an independent, prompt and transparent investigation into the killing of journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale.
The UN experts represented by David Kaye (USA), Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Agnes Callamard(France), Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Clément Nyaletsossi Voule (Togo), Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association said the Ghanian authorities must ensure that the killers of the journalist be brought to book to help strengthen the media’s trust in government all over the world especially where freedom of expression is being suppressed.
“We call on the authorities in Ghana to ensure that the perpetrators of this terrible crime are brought to justice. If a climate of impunity is permitted to prosper in the face of attacks on journalists around the world, we can expect this trend to proliferate, with disastrous consequences for press and media freedom globally,” the experts said.
They also condemned the actions of the Ghanaian parliament, Kennedy Agyapong who revealed the identity of Hussien-Suale, and his residential address and called on the public to attack him. The experts believed that this action may be connected to the killing of the investigative journalist.
“When political leaders brand journalists as ‘evil’ or ‘dangerous’, they incite hostility towards them and denigrate their work in the eyes of the public. Such statements have a direct impact on journalists’ safety and create a hazardous working environment for them,” the experts said.
“We urge the Government to ensure that any investigation into Mr. Hussein-Suale’s death includes due analysis of the impact of Agyapong’s actions and any role that they may have played in the killing of Hussein-Suale.”
Hussein-Suale was shot in the neck and chest by unknown assailants on a motorbike while he was driving in Accra on the evening of 16 January 2019. He died immediately.
Hussein-Suale’s death comes amid an increase in recent years in the number of journalists being murdered worldwide. Dozens were killed in 2018, including Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.