President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo has made a passionate call on World Leaders to make a conscious effort to end all forms of State sponsored attacks on Journalists in their bid to do their work.
Delivering the Special Guest of Honour’s address at the UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano Prize Ceremony and Gala Dinner of the “World Press Freedom Day 2018”, held at the Kempinski Gold Coast City Hotel, President Akufo Addo condemned all forms of attacks on Journalists while in their line of duty. The President observed that any forms of violence against journalists cannot and should not be countenanced on the African continent and for that matter the rest of the World.
“I use this opportunity to call on all governments the world over to put an end to State sponsored acts that seek to restrict the practice of Journalism. When supported, the free press has the potential to quicken the development of society. Indeed, democracy has no place for a media that does not keep a government on its toes,” the President said.
The President in his speech identified some emerging challenges to press freedom especially in this era of social media. He limited himself to two of these challenges namely, “the risk of deliberate misinformation campaigns by some elements in the Democratic space and the risk of inadvertent misinformation by media practitioners often in their desire to be first with the news”. He called on the participants in their deliberations to discuss these challenges and find ways to guard against the threats posed by these emerging problems.
The Egyptian Photojournalist
On the Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, also known as Shawkan, who has been in jail in Egypt for nearly five years, President Akufo Addo said the world has not forgotten him. He urged all individuals and institutions fighting for his release not to loose hope in their fight.