Mr William Nyarko, Executive Director, Africa Centre for International Law, and Accountability (ACILA), has called on the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to actively take part in the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021.
He said the Association played an important role in the country’s democracy and had been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of the media.
Mr Nyarko speaking to the media in Ho after a two-day sensitisation workshop on promoting human rights and covering stories on minority groups in the media for some selected journalists from Volta and Oti regions, said in a democratic society, people needed to have voice to extract accountability.
The object of the Bill is to provide for proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values; proscribe LGBTQ+ and related activities; proscribe propaganda of advocacy for or promotion of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities.
It is to also provide for the protection of and support for children, persons wh
o are victims or accused of LGBTTOQIAAP+ and related activities and other persons; and related matters.
Mr Nyarko said the Bill which intended to curtail the freedom and responsibility provided for the media, meant that the voice of the masses was being cut.
He said the Association’s interest in the Bill should particularly be Clause 12 where journalists could go to prison for ten years, which was just revised to five years.
‘We are asking the GJA to take active interest and make representations to Parliament about Clause 12 of this Bill.
‘We don’t want a situation where journalists will be put in prison for five years and now, we have to go and be advocating that they should be free.’
The workshop was organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).
Mr Michael Augustus Akagbor, Senior Programmes Officer, CDD-Ghana, said the workshop was aimed at having a joint knowledge production engagement with the media in terms of the Bill and sharing its contents with journalists.
He said the
re was a lot of work within the journalism space to engage to create awareness about the harmful effect of the Bill on just targeting the LGBT population and other populations too.
Mr Akagbor said the engagement discussed the sentences for journalists and Clauses in the Bill that targeted landlords, doctors, parents, and teachers.
He said the Clauses violated the cardinal human rights principles and should not be taken for granted in a democratic society.
Mr Emmanuel Agbaxode, Volta/Oti Regional Chairman, Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), commended the Organisation for the workshop which gave the participants insights into the Bill.
He called for such sensitisation efforts for more journalists in the country.
Mr Agbaxode urged the journalists from the regions to remain committed to the activities of the Association and always participate when called upon.
Source: Ghana News Agency