In a turn of events, during the #OccupyJulorBiHouse demonstration in Accra today, several protesters, cameramen, and journalists found themselves in police custody, including renowned Ghanaian freelance journalist and media personality, Bridget Otoo and a BBC correspondent.
The peaceful protest, organized to demand transparency and accountability in governance, took a tumultuous turn when law enforcement agencies began making arrests. What was meant to be a day of peaceful expression turned into a situation of chaos and legal interventions.
In a dramatic incident caught on camera, one of the protesters was arrested mid-interview. The protester, who was passionately expressing their views, was apprehended by police officers despite showing no signs of aggression.
Amidst the chaos, journalists and cameramen, who were present to cover the event, were detained. One of those arrested was well-known journalist, Bridget Otoo and another being BBC correspondent, Thomas Naadi, along with his camera man. Though he has been released from police custody, his camera man remains detained. Lawyers representing arrested persons have been maikng attempts to release their clients on bail. Court proceedings on the matter have been said to be held tomorrow on September, 22.
A civil society group, FixTheCountry has swiftly condemned the arrest of the protesters, labeling it a suppression of the fundamental right to free expression. In a statement released shortly after the arrests, FixTheCountry called on all Ghanaians to resist this apparent suppression of dissent and to demand the immediate release of those arrested.
The arrest of journalists and protesters during a peaceful demonstration has raised concerns about freedom of the press and the right to peaceful assembly in Accra. Legal experts and human rights advocates are closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds.
Many political personalities and advocates have made statements condemning the arrests and demanding the immediate release of journalists and protesters who were taken into custody.
Local authorities have yet to comment on the circumstances surrounding the arrests. As tensions rise, both local and international observers are closely watching the developments in Accra in the wake of the #OccupyJulorBiHouse demonstration.