Some police officers Tuesday night subjected Joy News’ Latif Iddris to severe beatings at the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service.
His crime was simply to ask an officer a question.
Latif says he got to the CID Headquarters at about 6:50 pm where a Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, was being interrogated for making inflammatory comments.
Mr. Anydoho had made comments the police contend are treasonous and arrested him Tuesday for interrogation.
As part of Joy News’ coverage of situation at the CID Headquarters where NDC supporters had converged agitating for the release their party leader, Latif arrived at the scene just before prime news on Joy News Television at 7pm.
“I approached one Police officer and asked if the Service has a special name for the crowd control vehicle, about two of which were stationed in front of the CID Headquarters at the time,” Latif recounts.
But his seemingly harmless question attracted ire of the police officer who ordered Latif to get lost.
The reporter said he went away but the policeman grabbed him from behind and slapped him for “asking a stupid question”.
“He then pushed me into a crowd of other Police officers who had no clue what had transpired between the two of us but also started beating me up,” Latif narrated.
A Joy News cameraman was equally manhandled by the police for daring to film the unprovoked assault on the reporter.
Latif said the assaulting police officers pushed “me into the main compound of the CID Headquarters and treated me like a criminal.”
He counted about eight Police officers who slapped him in turns. “One of them hit me in the rib with a stick he was holding, one other officer used the but of his gun to hit my head about three times, a number of them kicked me in in the leg with their boots.”
This harrowing ordeal, according to Latif, went on for about six-seven minutes, after which one of them came to “rescue me and took me outside the compound and asked me to leave the area”.
A visibly beaten and ruffled Latif was rushed to the Light House hospital at North Kaneshie where doctors detained him.
He had swollen face and bruises all over his body.
“I started smelling blood after the assault, I had pains in my rib, in my head, in my right leg and in my chest so I was given an injection by the doctor,” he added.