Protect the identity of teenage suspects – Child Right Int.

Executive Director, Child Rights International, Bright Kweku Appiah

Child Rights International, a child-centred organisation in Ghana has called on the media and other stakeholders to protect the identity of two teenagers suspected to be involved in the murder of a 10-year-old boy for money rituals at Kasoa.

According to a statement sighted by GhanaWeb, the display of faces of the two suspects on various media platforms is against Section 3 (2) & (3) of the Juvenile Justice Act states that: (2) A person shall not in the course of arrest, investigation or trial of an offence connected with a juvenile, or at any other stage of the cause or matter, release any information for publication that may lead to the identification of the juvenile.

It, therefore, becomes unlawful to expose the faces of the two suspects on any platform or reportage.

Child Rights International has described the circulation of their images and videos without any protection as “unethical”.

“We are, hereby, appealing to the media and relevant stakeholders to stop displaying the identity and pictures of the suspects. We entreat them to allow the law to take its course to avoid any potential danger to the two suspected teenagers,” parts of the statement read.

Read the full statement below:

Child Rights International has expressed dismay in the murder of a 10-year-old boy by two teenagers in Kasoa, a suburb of Central Region. The organisation, which is committed to the inherent dignity of every child, condemns the act and expresses its condolence to the family of the murdered boy.

However, as a child-centred organisation, the reportage from the media is unethical and does not protect their privacy and dignity, the victim and the two suspects are teenagers and therefore must be protected and handled lawfully.

Section 3 (2) & (3) of the Juvenile Justice Act states that: (2) A person shall not in the course of arrest, investigation or trial of an offence connected with a juvenile, or at any other stage of the cause or matter, release any information for publication that may lead to the identification of the juvenile.

In (3); Any person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on a summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both.

In view of the above, the teenagers and victims are being displayed on various media platforms and this is against the Juvenile Justice Act. It is the duty of the media to treat this issue with all seriousness, considering the teenagers involved. Although some people may not see anything wrong, it is not lawful to publicly parade and expose the identity and pictures of the two teenagers.

We understand the public is upset, judging how the two teenagers planned and carried out the act. Notwithstanding, we should try and protect their identity, bearing in mind that any public exposure of the teenagers could also put them in danger.

We are, hereby, appealing to the media and relevant stakeholders to stop displaying the identity and pictures of the suspects. We entreat them to allow the law to take its course to avoid any potential danger to the two suspected teenagers.