By Elvis DARKO, Accra
International pressure is mounting on Ghana to do everything possible to apprehend assailants who killed Ahmed Hussein-Suale, an investigative journalist and a member of Tiger Eye PI.
In strong statements issued by foreign countries and global international bodies, they consoled the family of the deceased while calling on the Government of Ghana and the security agencies to smoke out the perpetrators at all cost.
Some of the globally recognised organisations that issued statements include the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), Amnesty International, Global Witness, International Press Institute (IPI) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
The United Nations (UN) in Ghana, the European Union (EU) in Ghana, United States of America Embassy in Ghana and a member of the US Congress, Henry Johnson Jr., also issued statements calling for swift action to apprehend the killers.
The undercover investigator, who was also a key member of Tiger Eye Private Investigation team led by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was shot dead by unidentified men riding a motorbike on Wednesday night, January 16, at Madina in Accra while driving home.
He was reportedly shot three times, twice in the chest and in the neck.
The right to life
The right to life is sacrosanct and must be given the utmost priority as identified in Article 13 (1) of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, as well as the right to liberty as stipulated in Article 14 (1).
We are saddened over horrendous crime – FIFA
The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) said it is extremely disturbed and saddened by the murder of Ahmed.
It said FIFA extends its deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased and is confident the perpetrators of this horrendous crime would be caught and be made to face the law.
The world football controlling body reiterates its support for journalists doing important investigative work, which in many occasions leads to an improvement in governance standards, not only in football but across the board in public life.
Ahmed stripped football officials naked
Ahmed is a member of Tiger Eye Private Investigations and had investigated corruption in Ghana’s football leagues.
The undercover report on cash gifts led to a lifetime ban for the former head of Ghana’s Football Association while over 70 other football officials also received various bans.
UN calls for thorough and transparent investigations
Acting Resident Coordinator of United Nations in Ghana, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra expressed “strong condemnation” for the murder of Ahmed.
“The United Nations calls for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into Ahmed’s death and a full accountability for those responsible.
“Failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice creates a climate of impunity which perpetuates the cycle of violence against journalists,” the statement added.
UNESCO calls for investigation
The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, condemned the killing of investigative journalist Ahmed, saying “his courage in pursuing his investigations in the face of threats to his life is a source of inspiration.”
“Mr Ahmed epitomised the contribution of a free and critical press in fighting corruption and supporting rule of law.
“I trust that those responsible for this crime will be brought to justice to ensure that gunpoint censorship does not prevail,” she added.
UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
Ahmed exposed child traffickers – EU
The European Union (EU), in co-ordination with Heads of Mission of Member States represented in Ghana, expressed its deep regret and concern for the murder of Ahmed.
The EU described Ahmed as a key member of Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ team which carried out the investigation on child trafficking, reported in the ‘Chained by Begging’ video, produced with the support of the European Union.
The EU reiterated its commitment to defend media and journalists as a crucial aspect of freedom of expression and democracy.
“Press freedom is one of the distinctive features of Ghanaian democracy, and any effort should be made to preserve that principle, starting from the guarantee of security for all journalists.
“We are confident on Ghanaian authorities’ engagement in investigating, judging and punishing the authors of this heinous crime.
“The EU and Heads of Mission of Member States represented in Ghana present their most sincere condolences to the family and the colleagues of the late Ahmed Hussein-Suale,” it added.
Member countries of the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana are Embassy of Denmark in Ghana, Embassy of Spain in Ghana, French Embassy in Ghana, German Embassy Accra, Embassy of the Netherlands in Ghana, Italy in Ghana and Togo, and Embassy of Hungary in Accra.
Ahmed‘s killing is an attack on democratic credibility, press freedom
A Twitter post by the United States’ mission to Ghana said the murder is “not only an attack on Suale, but on Ghana’s climate of transparency, democratic credibility, and press freedom”.
Ghana must stand against killing of journalists
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), in a statement by its General Secretary Anthony Bellanger, condemned the killing of Ahmed.
It said the killing of journalists has no place in a civilised and democratic society, and Ghana, as one of the leading democracies on the African continent, must stand against this savage manner of silencing journalists and killing the truth.
Bring Ahmed’s killers to face justice – International Press Institute
International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and journalists, charged Ghana’s government to, as a matter of urgency, investigate Ahmed’s killing and bring his killers to face justice.
In a statement signed by the IPI Director of advocacy, Ravi Prasad, he said the brutal murder of Hussein-Suale underscores the dangers corruption fighters in Africa are faced with in their line of work.
“The brutal murder of Hussein-Suale underscores the grave danger that journalists, especially those who tackle corruption and abuse of power, face in their line of work…The Government of Ghana must swiftly investigate this crime and bring the killers to justice.”
African Investigative Publishing Collective demands justice
The African Investigative Publishing Collective (AIPC), an association of veteran investigative journalists who have dedicated their working – and often also private – lives to the exposure of wrongs in their societies demanded justice for Ahmed.
It called on government to detail crack criminal investigators to ensure that the murderers are brought to book.
The group pledged support for Tiger Eye PI, saying no amount of intimidation would prevent investigative journalists from playing their part to sanitise countries of corruption and maladministration.
Govt must take threats against journalists seriously – Global Witness
Global Witness, which campaigns to change the system by exposing the economic networks behind conflict, corruption & environmental abuse, condemned the shocking killing of Ahmed.
“Investigative journalists are on the frontline of the fight against corruption. Ahmed’s brutal murder makes it clear just how dangerous that frontline remains in 2019,” said Ava Lee, Senior Anti-Corruption Campaigner at Global Witness.
“2018 saw a doubling in journalists murdered for their reporting – authorities must start taking these threats seriously, before more people lose their lives, just for doing their job.”
According to an analysis of data collected by the IPI on the death of some journalists, investigation into cases of targeted killings of journalists are often slow and many of the perpetrators have not been brought to justice.
Amnesty International Ghana expressed outrage about the shooting and killing of Ahmed, saying recent killings threaten the right to life and liberty of Ghanaians and others in Ghana.
US Congressman proposes travel ban on Ken Agyapong
A Member of the US Congress, Henry Johnson Jr. wants the American government to place a travel ban on Ghanaian legislator Kennedy Agyapong, who called for violence against Ahmed.
The Congressman, in a letter to the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, also recommends a ban on access to the U.S. banking system by Mr Agyapong, his businesses, and any other appropriate and applicable sanctions.
According to Mr Johnson, the “professional execution-style of Ahmed’s murder in the aftermath of Agyapong’s disgraceful threats raises serious and credible suspicions about the circumstances of this murder”.
He further called for intelligence support for the Ghana government’s investigation of Ahmed’s death, including potential Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) support via the Office of the Legal Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Accra.
”We cannot allow the voices of truth to be muffled by those who would benefit from silence and deceit…” the letter added.
Source: The Finder