General News of Saturday, 28 May 2016
The Ghanaian Centre of PEN International has condemned the IGP’s revelation that the police are considering blocking social media in Ghana on election day.
The Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor said at a media interaction that he was considering blocking social media on election day as part of ensuring a peaceful process.
The IGP has come under fire for the comments and PEN – Ghana is the latest to wade into the debate.
In a statement signed by its President, Frankie-Asare-Donkor, the groups said the constitution of Ghana does not give IGP, John Kudalor the power to regulate media use in Ghana.
Below is the full statement from PEN Ghana.
The Ghanaian Centre of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers, which promotes literature and defends freedom of expression strongly condemns the announcement by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr John Kudalor, to the effect that he was considering blocking social media in Ghana on election day, this year.
We are surprised that a police chief who claims to be appreciating the good work of the media could in anotber vein conceive an idea of shutting down social media during the November 2016 Elections.
The Ghanaian PEN Centre wishes to state that the 1992 Constitution does not give the Inspector- General of Police any powers to regulate media use in Ghana. Mr Kudalor cannot, therefore turn Ghana into a police state by making any attempt to shut down social media in Ghaiiic.
Has Mr Kudalor thought about the fact that apart from his attempt being absurd, its implementation would have serious economic consequences as there are companies trading on social media?
We wish to remind the Inspector-General of Police that the era of clamping down on the media is gone and that his attempt would be resisted by all democracy-lovers who value freedom of expression.
PEN International hereby calls on all civil society organisations and users of social media to join in the chorus in condemning the Inspector-General of Police for his dangerous utterance which is tantamount to an attack on press freedom and freedom of expression.