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    We’re on a very slippery slope – Charlotte Osei warns

    Former chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC), Charlotte Osei, has bemoaned the continued violation of freedom of speech in the country.

    Charlotte Osei expressed concern about state institutions and politicians using the tool of criminal law to fight cases of defamation when defamed statements are allegedly made against them.

    According to her, what is more troubling is that the media in Ghana, which should advocate for freedom of speech, has been taken over by politicians who use it for their parochial interests.

    The former EC boss made these remarks at a round table discussion on the topic “Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom, Where Do We Draw the Line?” organised by the Harvard Club of Ghana in Accra on April 26, 2024.

    She added that media reportage on issues relating to freedom of speech makes it seem like the country was back to the days of dictatorship.

    “At this point, we seem to have lost our sense of direction. When we talk about the clamping down on freedom of expression and press freedoms, we tend to focus on the use of state power against either journalists or citizens who have criticised the state or said something the state doesn’t like. And that is a key issue.

    “… The issue now is that when you add media plurality, which we have corrupted, rather than it being a vehicle for increasing our freedoms, we have allowed politicians to hijack the ownership of the media houses. And so, the plurality of the media houses has now become another tool, either for attack or for suppression of press freedoms,” she said.

    She added, “And I think that we are on a very slippery slope. We are doing ourselves collective injury, and in terms of solutions, we need to go back to our core duties as citizens, the respect that we owe to each other, and permitting other citizens to express themselves.”


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