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Number 12 US wades into Anas brouhaha: calls on gov't to ensure his safety

The call follows media reports that Anas has approached US authorities for asylum for his immediate family after allegedly receiving death threats following his investigation into football corruption in Ghana.

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Ghanaian authorities must live up its "reputation for press freedom" and ensure the safety of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and all journalist, the US Embassy in Accra has told Pulse.com.gh.

The call follows media reports that Anas has approached US authorities for asylum for his immediate family after allegedly receiving death threats following his investigation into football corruption in Ghana.

READ MORE: Reporters Without Borders concerned by death threats and smear campaign against Anas

The news website Ghana Guardian reported Sunday that Anas has requested help from the US government to relocate his family after receiving multiple death threats.

Quoting family sources, the website reports that the investigative "journalist fears that he could be harmed by people he has investigated or blackmailed to receive their monies to drop investigations as they would be seeking revenge or refund."

Anas' latest investigative piece, “Number 12,” due for a premiere on Wednesday, June 6 in Accra, uncovers massive corruption in the Ghana Football Association.

The Press Attaché of the United States Embassy in Ghana, Sara Veldhuizen Stealy, said the embassy is aware of concerns about Anas' safety but she was quick to add that the investigative journalist has not approached the US government with any asylum request.

“We're aware of the concerns that have been raised about Anas' safety. He has not approached the U.S. Embassy with any such request,” she said.

She added: “We expect the Government of Ghana to live up to its reputation for press freedom and to ensure the safety of all journalists.”

On Saturday, Reporters Without Borders also expressed concerned about death threats and smear campaigns against Anas.

The watchdog, known by its French initials RSF, also mentioned President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Jubilee House in the tweet.

"RSF is very much concerned by the multiple death threats and smear campaign against investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas a few days prior to the release of his documentary about corruption in Ghana football. GhanaPresidency NAkufoAddo ProtectJournalist anasglobal," RSF tweeted.

The Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, who is at the forefront of the smear campaign against Anas, published his photos on his TV station Net 2.

Many have expressed fear it could expose him to danger but the MP has justified his action saying Anas himself is “corrupt,” an “extortionist” and a “blackmailer.”

Anas has over the years lived anonymously to avoid being harmed or damage his undercover investigations.

The controversy surrounding the yet to be aired investigative piece begun when five minutes excerpt of the video was shown to President Nana Akufo-Addo and his Vice Mahamudu Bawumia for their reaction.

The move, according to Kweku Baako, who is credited with mentoring Anas and often speak for him because of his anonymity, was to give the presidency an opportunity to react to claims made against the president by the FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi.

READ MORE: Anas tweets video of Bawumia endorsing him to spite Kennedy Agyapong

Days after watching the video, the president filed a complaint with the police, leading to the arrest of Nyantakyi for influence peddling.

Meanwhile, the Assin Central MP has vowed to “expose” Anas, saying he has in possession a video of Anas taking a bribe.

He said the video will be titled “Who watches the watchman.”

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