Government takes in Syrian, Yemeni And Rwandan refugees.
Government has accepted some refugees from Syria and Yemen, as well as persons from Rwanda, for resettlement. These refugees have been cleared of any terrorist involvement.
- A statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry said Government was responding to calls to accommodate refugees from these countries, where the situation of people fleeing them because of wars and violence has become a humanitarian crisis.
- It explained that those from Syria already have relatives living in Ghana.
- Two Yemenis, however, were previously detained by the US government but have been cleared of any terrorist involvement. Nevertheless, they cannot resettle in their own country.
- The Rwandans are persons who have been tried by the International Tribunal for Rwanda but have either been acquitted and discharged or have served their time in prison but did not find it appropriate to resettle in their country.
- The ministry assures Ghanaians that all refugees have gone through extensive security clearances prior to being accepted, and that their activities will be monitored while they are here in Ghana.
Parliament rejects claims it supports re-passing of criminal libel law.
The Committee on Subsidiary Legislation in Parliament said claims that it supported the passing of a law to reintroduce the scrapped Criminal Libel Law are untrue.
- The committee recently worked on the Content Standard Regulation, which was laid before the House by the National Media Commission (NMC) last December. It will mature in 21 days.
- It empowers the NMC to revoke licenses of media outfits if they broadcast unapproved content; and comes with a fine of not less than 5000 units or a prison term of two years or both.
- A member of the Committee, Kofi Osei Ameyaw, told Citi News the legislation is in the interest of the country and that it will especially protect children.
- The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association is challenging the law in court, claiming it is unconstitutional. Article 162, clauses 3 and 4 of the constitution read:
(3) There shall be no impediments to the establishment of private press or media; and in particular, there shall be no law requiring any person to obtain a licence as a prerequisite to the establishment or operation of a newspaper, journal or other media for mass communication or information.
(4) Editors and publishers of newspapers and other institutions of the mass media shall not be subject to control or interference by Government, nor shall they be penalized or harassed for their editorial opinions and views, or the content of their publications.
- The original Criminal Libel and Seditious Laws were repealed in 2001, 6 months into the NPP’s administration. The repeal decriminalized libel and allowed for citizens to use civil means to check the truthfulness of journalists.
- Reintroduction of a legal instrument with the same weight as those libel laws would be viewed as a step toward Government control of media and a huge step away from democracy in Ghana.
Nigerian cleric sentenced to death for blasphemy.
An Islamic court in Nigeria sentenced a cleric to death by hanging after he was found guilty of making statements deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.
- Abdulazeez Dauda, a preacher at a local faction of the Tijaniya sect, founded in Senegal by Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse, is reported to have said, “Naisse was bigger than Prophet Muhammed.”
- His comments led to violent protests in the northern city of Kano last May.
- Dauda’s trial was reportedly held in secret.
- Last year, five of his followers were also sentenced to death, as reported by the BBC.