Ethics clash with law over leaked disclosure of alleged KKD victim's identity

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Ethics clash with law over leaked disclosure of alleged KKD victim's identity

While prominent lawyer, Samson Lardy Anyenini, sees nothing wrong with the disclosure of the identity of the lady alleging she was raped by KKD, Communications Professor Audrey Gadzekpo thinks otherwise.

Mr Anyenini argued on Joy FM 's Newsnite that if the identity of an accused person in a rape case can be paraded in the media then there is nothing wrong with doing same for a complainant in the same matter.

"In any case the complainant walked to the police station. The police station is a public space", he argued.

According to him there is no legal provision that bars the disclosure of the identity of an adult complainant in any rape case.

Referring to the case in which former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of rape by a hotel maid, he said he did not have to struggle to learn the identity of the victim.

"The point is that if we want to speak to the principles or the ethics of the game then let us not disclose the identity of the accused and the complainant until a trial is over", he suggested.

The identity of a 19-year-old lady who is claiming showbiz icon, Kwasi Kyei Darkwah (KKD) forcibly had sex with her was revealed Tuesday after the charge sheet detailing the facts of the case was leaked.

Police had been tight-lipped about the alleged rape victim's identity even though she is an adult.

The alleged victim was identified on the leaked charge sheet as Ewuraffe Orleans Thompson a student living with her parents at Katamanso.

According to the leaked document, Ms Thompson claims KKD had sex with her in a suite at the African Regent Hotel on December 27, 2014 when KKD invited her to help him powder his face.

Head of the School of Communications Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, says it is unfortunate the identity of the lady is out in the open.

She also disagreed with Mr Anyenini that there was nothing wrong with the disclosure of the identity of the alleged victim.

According to her, the code of ethics of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and that of most international journalists' associations is explicit about the non-disclosure of the identity of alleged victims of rape.

"Journalists are under obligations to respect their codes. If they disagree with the tenets of the codes then they [journalists] have to go to the drawing table and argue out the reasons why they disagree with the code", said the Communications Professor.

So far as she is concerned, the GJA code of ethics explicitly bars the disclosure of identities of victims of rape.

According to her the fact that the code has been broken many times does not make it right.

"Sometimes, [when] victims themselves choose to have their identities disclosed, then it is okay for the news media to pick it up", she said.

Source: Ghana | | George Nyavor | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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