African News

"I Saw Dictatorship First-hand"---Blewu

13 February 2006 at 11:13 | 439 views

One of Ghana’s foremost human rights activists, journalist Bright Blewu recently spoke at an orientation session for Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) experts in Accra. Kofi Akosa-Sarpong reports:

By Kofi Akosa-Sarpong

Bright Blewu, the 23-year veteran director of the Ghana International Press Centre, experienced human rights abuses as a journalist over the twelve-year military rule led by Ft. Lt. Jerry Rawlings.

At the seat of government, the Osu Castle, he was the Ghana News Agency correspondent in 1984. “I saw first-hand human rights violations and how fear was everywhere...How the dictatorship operated, the problems they created for themselves and the citizens, and how there was no accountability,” he told Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) volunteers in Accra during an orientation session recently.

Blewu’s insights convinced him to join other journalists to fight for democracy and human rights. The result saw Ghana becoming a democracy in 1992, with chapter 5 of the constitution, which deals with human rights, being the longest chapter, and chapter 12 demonstrating the media as one of key components of Ghana’s democracy.

No doubt, an indemnity clause was inserted in the constitution to protect the Rawlings’ military regime from legal actions for human rights violations. Blewu sees JHR as part of the broader struggle to democratize Ghana and further nurture human rights values in Ghana’s development process.

Photo: Bright Blewu, the struggle continues.