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Free Press GJA laments seizure of journalists’ phones in court

Earlier this week, some journalists were denied access to their phones at the District Court 8 in Accra on the orders of the judge, Efua Sackey.

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The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has lamented the seizure of phones of some journalists at an Accra District court, insisting such acts undermine democracy.

Earlier this week, some journalists were denied access to their phones at the District Court 8 in Accra on the orders of the judge, Efua Sackey.

READ ALSO: Gang-rape: Court sentences Bantama gang-rapists to 36 months in prison

During the coverage of the case between the Republic and Dominic Obeng Andoh of Obengfo Hospital, the Court Warrant Officer (CWO) surprisingly went round to seize the phones of journalists who had come to report on the matter.

The judge later explained that the action was taken in order to prevent journalists from recording proceedings in court.

However, the GJA insists such an act “has the tendency to undermine the country’s fledgling democracy and development”.

GJA President, Affail Monney play

GJA President, Affail Monney

 

In a statement, the Association said it was unfair for the Magistrate to be selective in having only journalists’ phones seized and not everyone in the court room as is the practice.

The GJA appealed to the Chief Justice to call Her Worship Efua Sackey, to order in order not to undermine the cordial relations between the Judicial Service and the media.”

READ ALSO: Photos: Cocaine Dealer Nayele Amatefe off to Austria

“We find the action of Her Worship very strange, one that deviates from the norm of asking all visitors in court, not only journalists, to put their mobile phones either off or on silence. In a technologically savvy society such as ours, it is possible for anybody in court to record proceedings against the rules of court, and even leaks same in both traditional and social media.

“So for Her Worship to single out journalists for restriction by impounding their mobile phones, leaving intact the liberty of other visitors in court to possess their mobile phones, belies her concern to prevent recording of proceedings. Otherwise, her order would have been far-reaching to include all visitors in court,”  the statement added.

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