Season of intimidation: Attacks on Ghana press escalate ahead of 2024 polls

Edward Adeti has been on the run since 2019.

That year, the young Ghanaian investigative journalist uncovered how a Chinese mining firm plotted with a senior judge to dismiss a case about gold theft from an Australian mine in northern Ghana. A government minister, a friend of the said judge, called Adeti having got wind of the yet-to-be-published story, to bribe him to drop it.

Adeti captured the conversation with him on tape and leaked it alongside the story in the Daily Dispatch, the newspaper he worked for, leading to the minister’s eventual resignation in April 2019.

Since then, there have been threats on the journalist’s life, forcing him and his family to flee their home in Bolgatanga – 768km (477 miles) from the capital, Accra – in Ghana’s north. His house was burgled, rooms stripped bare, and his belongings taken away by unknown intruders.

“It’s very unsafe doing this job in Ghana,” Adeti told Al Jazeera from his hideout. “I have to disguise myself before I can step out. I left the region because police detectives hinted to me that they have picked signals that people are planning to eliminate me.”

In Ghana, free expression has long been a cornerstone of its vibrant democracy but there has been a surge in attacks on journalists by political actors and security agencies ahead of the 2024 general elections. These attacks range from physical assaults to intimidation and cyber-threats and have cast a shadow over the West African nation’s commitment to media freedom.

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