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Find the Killers of Ahmed Suale; Government’s Silence Is Worrying

Seven months ago, the nation was rocked by the brutal murder of an up and coming young Ghanaian journalist, Mr. Ahmed Suale. His killers were so brazen they gunned him down in front of his house in Madina

Coming as it were after a series of well publicized stories about the harassment and intimidation of working journalists in the country, Suale’s horrifying and unexplained killing sent shock waves beyond Ghana’s borders and invariably portrayed the nation in a very negative light.

Caught off guard, the government desperately tried to reassure media practitioners and the nation more broadly that all was well and that it was deploying resources to find the killers of Mr. Suale.

But the reassurances have fallen flat, the investigation has stalled, and to date, nothing concrete has been unearthed vis a vis the ghastly crime.  The killers are walking free without a care in the world. This fact is not only depressing, it is frightening.

Over time it has become increasingly evident that the government’s interest in finding the killers has waned considerably. But despite the reluctance of authorities to intensify their pursuit of all those who conspired to cut Mr. Suale’s life short, his family remains hopeful that one day, his killers will be caught and brought before a court of law to explain their violent act.

A crime of this magnitude, in fact, a crime that has invited international scrutiny of the country’s commitment to press freedom, warrants daily updates by government on how far it has gone in its efforts to nab the suspects.

Instead what the anxious and fearful Ghanaian public has gotten is deafening official silence which leads me to believe the narrative that the current government is openly hostile to journalists, and by extension, to press freedom.

My fear is multifold: that the killers may never be found and brought to justice; the family of Mr. Suale would continue to anguish; and those bad elements in society bent on curtailing press freedom will continue to intimidate, hound and murder journalists who ask hard questions.

Ahmed Suale’s brutal murder is a blemish on our democratic credentials.

Let us remember that the press is an integral part of democracy. Journalists perform an important role in society and in the discharge of their duties, they may step on some powerful toes.

But that is what the job calls for: — to check those in authority and keep them in line just so they don’t ride roughshod over the less powerful.

Sadly, there are some in our society who for their own diabolical reasons harbor complete disdain for the press and would do anything and everything in their power to frustrate members of the fourth estate.

Unfortunately, the silence of the government on the murder of Mr. Suale only emboldens them.



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