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Radio station attacked for defying censorship orders in Ghana

On February 17, 2014, about 30 youth stormed the premises of Gift FM – a privately-owned radio station – in Dormaa Ahenkro, a town in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana.

The action followed a news item aired about the alleged banishment of Fred Yeboah – the general manager of the Presbyterian Hospital in the town – by the Dormaa traditional council.

Kwabena Boahene, station manager of Gift FM, told the MFWA that the chief of Dormaa, Osagyefo Oseadeyo Nana Agyeman Badu (II) announced the banishment of Yeboah at a gathering on February 17.

Reasons for the chief's action were not disclosed and remain unknown.

"Because we defied the chief's orders, the youth attacked us and caused extensive damage to our property and even wanted to set fire to the station with a gallon of petrol they came along with," Boahene said.

According to MFWA's correspondent, the timely intervention of policemen brought the situation under control. Meanwhile, an official complaint has been lodged and police are investigating the incident.

The MFWA commends the police for restoring calm and preventing the youth from vandalising the station and for continuing to protect the station's staff since the incident happened.

We also wish to remind all that the Constitution of Ghana guarantees the freedom and independence of the media. The Constitution also explicitly states in Article 162 (2) that: "...there shall be no censorship in Ghana."

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