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Ghana Drops 30 Places In World Press Freedom Index; Lowest In Nearly 2 Decades

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Ghana has dropped 30 places on the 2022 World Press Freedom index.

The 2022 index put together by campaign group, Reporters Without Borders, saw Ghana ranking 60 after placing 30 in 2022.

This is Ghana’s lowest-ever ranking in 17 years after it ranked 66th and 67th in 2005 and 2022 respectively.

The latest report is out of 180 countries assessed with Ghana recording a decline in its indicative points from 78.67 percent to 67.43 compared to last year.

It said although the country is considered a regional leader in democratic stability, journalists have experienced growing pressures in recent years.

“To protect their jobs and their security, they increasingly resort to self-censorship, as the government shows itself intolerant of criticism”, the report mentioned.

According to Reporters Without Borders, the safety of Ghanaian journalists has deteriorated sharply in recent years.

For example, the campaigners said in 2020, reporters covering the effectiveness of anti-COVID-19 measures were attacked by security forces.

That is not the only grounds. Ghanaian political leaders are said to be making death threats against investigative journalists.

“Nearly all cases of law enforcement officers attacking journalists are not pursued”, it said.

Methodology
The Index is a snapshot of the situation in the 180 countries and territories during the calendar year (January-December) prior to its publication. Nonetheless, it is meant to be seen as an accurate reflection of the situation at the time of publication.

Therefore, when the press freedom situation changes dramatically in a country between the end of the year assessed and publication, the data is updated to take account of the most recent events possible.

This may be related to a new war, a coup d’état, an unprecedented or very unusual major attack on journalists, or the sudden introduction of an extreme repressive policy.

For the 2022 Index, this exceptional procedure was used with Russia, Ukraine and Mali.

Each country or territory’s score is evaluated using five contextual indicators that reflect the press freedom situation in all of its complexity: political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context and safety.

The Index’s rankings are based on a score ranging from 0 to 100 that is assigned to each country or territory, with 100 being the best possible score (the highest possible level of press freedom) and 0 the worst.

Recently, the US Department of State also released its 2021 annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices which reports on key human rights issues in various countries across the world including Ghana.

The report cited Ghana for a number of human rights abuses including clamping down on free speech.

Some specific cases mentioned in the report included the killing of social activist, Kaaka in Ejura, and the arrest and abuse of Citi FM/Citi TV’s Caleb Kudah.

The death of investigator of the Tiger Eye PI team in the Number 12 exposé on corruption in Ghana football, Ahmed Saule has not yet been closed after he was shot dead by some unknown assailants in January 2019 at Madina in Accra

Before this, in July 2018, the National Security personnel, in another notable incident, arrested and tortured two journalists after the publication of an article that criticized the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah.

Over the course of the Akufo-Addo administration, it has been criticized on these points, as well as the closure of some prominent pro-opposition radio stations.

The government’s response so far to these incidents has been largely condemned, with many suggesting that it gives the impression that the state is either complicit or tacitly supports such actions against journalists.

Click here for the full report.

Kubidyza is a Global Celebrity Blogger, Music Promoter and a Social Media Influencer | Most Influential Blogger In Ghana For Bookings: Kubinho80@gmail.com

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McDonald’s To Leave Russia Permanently After 32 Years

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McDonald’s has announced that it will leave Russia permanently after 30 years.

McDonald’s announced in March that it would temporarily close its roughly 850 restaurants in the country as part of the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Chicago-based company owns 84% of its stores in Russia and has stated that its restaurants in Russia and Ukraine contributed 9% of its annual revenue, or around $2 billion (£1.6 billion).

The company expects to incur a non-cash charge of between $1.2 billion (£980 million) and $1.4 billion as part of the exit.

“The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, as well as the precipitating unpredictable operating environment,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

According to the company, it has begun selling its restaurants there due to the “humanitarian crisis” and “unpredictable operating environment” caused by the Ukraine war.

McDonald’s intends to sell its business to a local buyer, which employs 62,000 people and operates 850 restaurants (including those run by franchisees).

The restaurants will be “de-arched,” which means they will no longer use the McDonald’s name, logo, or branding. In a statement, McDonald’s stated that its “priorities include seeking to ensure that McDonald’s employees in Russia continue to be paid until the close of any transaction and that employees have future employment with any potential buyer.” In Russia, it will keep its trademarks.

According to the company, doing business in Russia is “no longer tenable” or consistent with its values.

“This is a complicated issue with no precedent and profound consequences,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski wrote in a message to franchisees, employees, and suppliers obtained by The New York Times.

“Some might argue that providing access to food and continuing to employ tens of thousands of ordinary citizens is unquestionably the right thing to do,” he continued. However, it is impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by Ukraine’s war. And it’s difficult to imagine the Golden Arches symbolizing the same hope and promise that drove us to enter the Russian market 32 years ago.”

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Ashantigold Demoted To Division Two For Match Manipulation

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Ashantigold Sporting Club of Ghana has been demoted to Division Two, Ghana’s third tier league, after being found guilty of match manipulation.

The incident occurred at the end of the 2020/2021 Ghana Premier League season, when Ashantigold defeated Inter Allies 7-0. Hashmin Musah, an Allies player, scored two own goals and later admitted his action was to ruin a bet placed on the game.

Dr. Kwaku Frimpong, the club’s President, and his son, Emmanuel Frimpong, the club’s Chief Executive Officer, have also been barred from football activities for ten years and eight years, respectively.

Eight club players were also banned for two years each after being found guilty of match manipulation, and a further five players were given four-year bans for failing to appear before the GFA’s Disciplinary Committee.

Furthermore, the club was fined Ghs 100,000, the President was fined Ghs 100,000, and the CEO was fined Ghs 50,000.

The decision will be implemented beginning with the 2022/2023 season.

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Inter Allies Demoted To Division Two For Match Manipulation

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Inter Allies Football Club has been demoted to Ghana’s second division after being found guilty of match manipulation.

The Ghana FA’s Disciplinary Committee announced the decision on Monday, following the conclusion of an investigation into last season’s final day clash between AshGold and Inter Allies at the Len Clay Stadium.

The game was won by AshGold 7-0, with Inter Allies defender Hashmin Musah scoring two own goals in the process.

Musah, however, admitted after the game in a radio interview that his own goals were scored on purpose to scupper a 5-1 bet that some people had placed on the match.

The GFA announced that the club had been charged on two counts and that it would be demoted to Division Two at the end of the current season. They were relegated from the Ghana Premier League last season and fell into this division.

In addition to the demotion, Inter Allies must pay a GHS 100,000 fine under the GFA’s Disciplinary Code.

Their head coach, Felix Aboagye, and team manager, Reuben Adjetey, would be barred from all football-related activity for 24 months.

As part of the GFA’s sanctions, four players were given 24-month bans. Richmond Lamptey of Kotoko was banned from football for 30 months because he was playing for Inter Allies at the time of the incident.

Hashmin Musah was also punished, but he received a shorter 6-month ban for bringing the incident to light, and he was also warned to notify the GFA’s Integrity Hotline in the future if he becomes aware of such unscrupulous arrangements.

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