#FixTheCountry welcomes the recent decision of the Right to Information (RTI) Commission to order the National Security Ministry to disclose 10 classes of information on the unlawful arrest of Mrs. Zoe Abu-Baidoo and the arrest and torture committed by its operatives on Mr. Caleb Kudah.
Both Mrs. Abu-Baidoo and Mr. Kudah are journalists with Citi TV/FM.
On 31 May 2021, #FixTheCountry filed an RTI request with the National Security Ministry seeking access to 11 classes of information including aspects of the Standard Operating Manual of the National Security Ministry, concerning the arrest of citizens by operatives wearing masks; and the torture of journalists.
FixTheCountry also requested a video of the interrogation of the Journalist, and the report of a purported committee that the Ministry claimed was set up to investigate the incident.
Failing to receive a response from the ministry within 14 days as required by law, We sent two reminders on 24/01/2022 and 11/02/2022 respectively, but still did not get any acknowledgment or reply from the ministry.
We filed a complaint with the RTI Commission on 29/04/2022, invoking its powers under Section 43 of the RTI Act, 2019 (Act 989).
On 28/02/2023, we received a letter from the RTI Commission informing us that it has ruled in our favor and ordered the National Security Ministry to provide us with the requested information within fourteen days. The Commission also fined the Minister 50,000 Ghana cedis for failing to respond to us.
In reaching its decision, the Commission stated that it had found no reasonable justification for the ministry’s failure to respond to our request and reminded it of its obligations under Section 23 of the RTI Act.
We commend the RTI Commission for performing its functions impartially and effectively.
We believe that this decision is a milestone for transparency and accountability which further deepens our democracy and rule of law in Ghana. We urge all citizens to exercise their right to information and hold public institutions accountable for their actions.
We also call on the National Security Ministry to comply with the order of the RTI Commission and respect our constitutional right to information.
We demand justice and freedom for our media men who play a key role in the enhancement of our democracy and should not be the recipients of unlawful violence and intimidation by Institutions paid with our taxes to work for us. We will not relent in our quest for social justice and economic reform in Ghana.
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