Private media outlet Class Media Group firebombed in Ghana

Abuja, May 6, 2024—Authorities in Ghana should swiftly and comprehensively conclude their investigation of the April 25 firebomb attack on Class Media Group’s office, hold those responsible to account, and ensure that journalists at the media outlet can work safely, said the Committee to Protect Journalists on Monday.

On April 25, four unidentified men on two motorbikes threw petrol bombs inside the privately owned Class Media Group’s office in the Labone district of Ghana’s capital Accra, and fled the scene, according to media reports and Class Media Group Operations Officer Theodore Edwards, who spoke to CPJ by phone.

Class Media Group owns nine local radio stations across the country, including Class 91.3FMAccra 100.5FMKUMASI 104.1FMNo.1 105.3FM Accra Ho FMAdehyee FMTaadi FMDagbon FM and Sunyani FM; the C TV television broadcaster, and the Class FM news site, according to Patrick Ayumu, an editor with the website who spoke with CPJ by phone and messaging app.

The Accra attack shattered the media outlet’s door, including the entryway glass leading to the office corridor, but no staff members were injured, according to Edwards and Ayumu, and footage of the attack reviewed by CPJ.

“Authorities in Ghana must swiftly and comprehensively conclude their investigation into the firebomb attack on Class Media Group’s office in Accra, ensure that the attackers are held to account, and step-up actions to ensure that the press can operate safely,” said Angela Quintal, head of CPJ’s Africa program, in New York. “This attack is a frightening reminder of the dangers media workers face in Ghana, where the murder of journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela in January 2019 remains unsolved, and numerous attacks on other journalists are carried out with impunity.”

Edwards told CPJ that Class Media occasionally received online complaints about their reporting, which covers a wide variety of subjects, but the complaints were general and did not seem linked to the attack. Edwards and Ayumu told CPJ that they did not immediately see a motive for the attack on their office.

Class Media Group reported the firebomb attack to police on April 25, but Ayumu said on Friday May 3, that police were still investigating and had not updated them on any developments.

On April 26, President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association Cecil Thomas Sunkwa-Mills condemned the attack, said that it was crucial for police to investigate, and called on Class Media’s management to increase its office security, according to Ayumu and a media report.

In an earlier incident in Accra, on January 16, 2019, men on a motorcycle shot and killed Ghanaian journalist Ahemed Hussein-Suale Divela, and those responsible have yet to be identified and held accountable. Last year, CPJ documented a years-long pattern of impunity in attacks on the press in Ghana.

CPJ’s calls and text messages on May 3 to the Ghana police spokesperson, Grace Ansah-Akrofi, went unanswered.

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