Following the coming into force of the lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Greater Kumasi, many have been the accusations leveled against the military and police for brutalizing citizens seen outside.
But the Ghana Armed Forces GAF have come out to say that the videos circulating are doctored and some are not originating from the lockdown.
In the statement issued by the PRO of GAF, it said “It is our opinion that the deliberate circulation of unrelated and doctored social media material is orchestrated by certain individuals with the objective of casting the security agencies in the ongoing operation in bad light. ”
It went on to say the Force was investigating persons peddling false news and will prosecute them.
READ THE FULLL STATEMENT BELOW
GHANA ARMED FORCES
POSTINGS OF VIDEOS UNRELATED TO OPERATION COVID SAFETY
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has noted with concern a developing trend on social media over the past few days, involving the re-cycling of past video clips, (some of which did not originate in Ghana); re-packaging them as current episodes, and attributing them to the GAF.
It would be recalled that on recycling 8th March 2020, TV 3 News carried a news item purportedly showing the arrival of troops in Kumasi to ensure residents conform to the partial lockdown directives by the President. The purported recording, featured a voice which issued threats to residents of the Ashanti Region of intended brutalities by the Military.
This reportage, after our investigation, was found to be a doctored video. The said troops were in fact, part of a disinfection exercise which took place recently in Accra but had no bearing to the restrictions programme currently underway. The threatening voice was found to be a deliberate fabrication. TV 3 News has since retracted and apologized to the GAF.
On Monday, 30th March 2020, the first day of the exercise, several videos showing alleged brutalities by personnel of Operation COVID SAFETY on some citizens were posted on social media by certain individuals. Checks reveal that most of these videos are old incidents that are unrelated to the ongoing exercise. Some of the videos show incidents which occurred in neighboring francophone countries, whilst others are incidents which occurred several months ago, unrelated to the current exercise. Moreover, the people in some of these videos in circulation are not members of the Police and Military.
It is our opinion that the deliberate circulation of unrelated and doctored social media material is orchestrated by certain individuals with the objective of casting the security agencies in the ongoing operation in bad light.
It is unfortunate that at a time when the will of the Nation is united to confront a real threat, certain groups of people continue with the deliberate distribution of misinformation materials on social media.
While admonishing the public to be mindful of such individuals whose stock-in-trade is to create confusion, we have commenced investigations into persons peddling false news with the view to prosecuting such persons.
The public is however assured that genuine incidents of the wrongful use of force will be investigated and those found culpable disciplined in line with GAF Regulations.
Director Public Relations