RSF calls for probe into Ghanaian website journalists’ torture claims

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Ghanaian authorities to investigate the manner in which two news website journalists were arrested and held for four nights and their claims that they were tortured during interrogation about criticism of the national security minister that was posted on the site.

Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, the deputy editor of the ModernGhanawebsite, and reporter Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum, were arrested when security personnel went to the website’s office in Accra on 27 June, shortly after they posted a reader's story criticising the minister on the site.

RSF has learned that the security personnel arrived at the website’s office without an arrest warrant and that they seized the journalists’ laptops at the same time as they arrested the two journalists.

After their release on 1 July, the journalists said that they were tortured while held and were forced to remove three posts from the site in which readers had criticized the national security minister. The minister issued a statement denying their claims.

“Such harassment by representatives of the security forces is quite simply unacceptable,”said Assane Diagne, the director of RSF’s West Africa office. “The Ghanaian authorities must open an immediate investigation into the circumstances in which these two journalists were detained and into these serious allegations of torture.”

Ghana is ranked 27th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index .