Lilongwe, January 20, 2019. Digital Communication Network (DCN), a platform of journalists and digital communicators in Africa has condemned the assassination of a Ghanaian investigative journalist, Ahmed Husein and the internet shutdown in Zimbabwe.
In a statement released Thursday night, DCN says the two incidents are serious human rights violations.
The 34-year-old reporter was shot in the neck and chest by unknown gunmen on his way home on Wednesday night in the capital Accra.
It is reported that the gunmen were on a motorbike and they shot through the car he was driving. He died on the spot.
Husein’s death follows an alleged call for retribution on him by a politician in his country.
DCN President Noloyiso Mtembu said the incident is a serious human rights threat to media professionals.
“The death of a single journalist is one too many. We call on Ghanaian authorities to act on the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” she said.
Husein was part of a team led by award-winning journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, whose investigation led to the resignation of Ghana Football Association’s head.
DCN further condemns the intentional internet blackout and threats to journalists and media activists doing their work in Zimbabwe.
Mtembu says DCN Africa notes with concern communiqué from mobile network companies in Zimbabwe confirming that they acted under government instruction to suspend the internet across all networks and internet service providers.
She said the internet blackout imposed on Zimbabwe citizens not only hampered them from doing their daily business but crippled the work of local and foreign journalists who serve an important role in society.
“We appeal to government of Zimbabwe not to go down in history as one of those authorities which defied international human rights law and suppressed its own citizens by shutting the internet and promoting human rights violations,” Mtembu said.
She said the condemnation and appeal for reason does not spare the Democratic Republic of Congo, where citizens also experienced an internet shutdown from December into the New Year, ahead of the much anticipated elections.
DCN is a grouping of 500 journalists, digital communicators, media activists, researchers and entrepreneurs.
Its aim is to promote the use of digital tools to curb misinformation and to advance credible and truthful information for the good of the general public.
DCN has membership in 14 African countries including Malawi.