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Remembering Khashoggi and Ahmed Suale

On Wednesday, the journalism world observed the sad one-year anniversary of the gruesome murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, by Saudi thugs.

Mr. Khashoggi who was a writer at the Washington Post in the United States, was a frequent critic of the Saudi monarchy. He did not mince his words and was unrelenting in his upbraiding of the monarchy.

That apparently did not sit well with the royal family who allegedly sent a hit squad to Turkey to eliminate the vociferous Mr. Khashoggi.

His murder sparked anger across the globe, in journalism circles particularly. By and by, fingers invariably pointed to the royal family, the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman specifically, as the mastermind behind the kidnapping, torture and hideous killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

And, even though the Saudi government claims it has put on trial a number of Saudi security officials on trial for their involvement in Khashoggi’s assassination, there is a lot of skepticism about the move to prosecute these state officials.

Ironically, Mr. Khashoggi’s killing refocused attention on the daily trials and tribulations of journalists around the world, the difficulties of their job and the disdain and scorn poured on them from those who are supposed to protect them

They are harassed, intimidated, imprisoned and in some extreme cases, physically eliminated, murdered. 2018 was a particularly brutal year for journalists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 43 journalists were killed around the world.

Unfortunately, 2019 is shaping up to be another devastating year for journalists. So far, the CPJ, says 16 journalists have been gunned down.

And things are going to get worse as certain governments have tightened the noose around the necks of journalists. They are curtailing press freedom and gagging reporters and doing all they can to make the working environment of journalists more lethal.

In our own backyard, Ghanaian journalists have suffered the indignities and brutalities meted out to their colleagues elsewhere in the world.

Press freedom in Ghana is a running joke. There is nothing remotely close to that. The government just pays lip to the concept.

We all remember the savage murder of Ahmed Suale, the young journalist who worked for Tiger Eye Investigations.

Much like Khashoggi, nothing substantial has come out of the investigations into Mr. Suale’s killing. The government says it has devoted manpower and material resources to finding those who senselessly cut Suale’s life short.

Yet his murderers are still walking free, thereby validating the widespread perception that the NPP administration is not committed to finding his killers.

In the final analysis, no matter the obstacles put in their way — intimidation, assaults and killings — journalists will continue to discharge their duties as diligently as possible to inform, educate and entertain their viewers, listeners and readers.



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