Undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has bemoaned his colleague, Ahmed Hussein-Suale, who was shot by unknown assailants in Accra on January 2019, saying he would have been alive had the government taken public threats against journalists in Ghana more seriously.
He expressed sadness at events that led to the killing of his colleague by unknown gunmen adding that, “In recent times, there have been developments in town that are very worrying, I recall the death of my colleague, the hardworking journalist Mr Hussein- Suale.”
Speaking at the Media Freedom Conference in London jointly organised by the governments of UK and Canada, Anas, who has gained global respect for his daring investigative work called on world leaders to do better to protect journalists facing threats from governments in their work.
He warned against deliberate wrongful tagging of genuine undercover work by journalists as fake news by dictators who seek to undermine courageous work that exposes their misdeeds saying, “If leaders are able to describe genuine work we have done undercover as fake news, then we are in trouble, grave danger societies can face over loss of confidence in the media.”
Anas’ Tiger Eye Private Investigation (PI) team aired an investigation in 2018 on corruption in African football, after which the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central in the Central Region, Kennedy Agyapong, spoke against his methods in a series of programmes he publicised on his TV station, Net 2 TV dubbed: ‘Who Watches the Watchman?” In it, he called for Anas to be hanged and further exposed the face of Mr Hussein-Suale, who until then was not known by face to the citizenry.
According to Anas, “when the politician mounted the stage and said they will hang and beat journalists, if the government had spoken and been firm about it, Mr Hussein- Suale would not have died.
While commending western governments for their support in developing media freedom, he criticised them for using financial system to store funds amassed for themselves and expended after leaving office and cautioned that “if the world stand by for journalists to be killed for doing their job, no one will be safe.
The Global Conference for Media Freedom is part of an international campaign to shine a global spotlight on media freedom and increase the cost to those that attempt to restrict it.