Source: Ashesi University

“It has been a long time since I had a group of students grilling me,” said Anas Aremeyaw Anas. “It is good to be here again, and I have come prepared for some hard-hitting questions.”

With that warm opening, Anas spent the next hour with the Child Rights class at Ashesi explaining the importance of the human rights debate around the world, and how journalism was a necessary tool in the fight to end corruption and change the world.

“I have been undercover in prisons and psychiatric hospitals among others, disguised as anything from a student to a pastor,” said Anas. “In my work I have tried to tackle issues that influence change. There’s no point in journalism that doesn’t affect society. Every piece of journalism must lead to some kind of change. So I have a three step process: naming, shaming and jailing.”

Using grim footage he had recorded, Anas shared details of some of the harshest cases of human rights abuse he had witnessed during his undercover work, explaining the misguided systems that helped these abuses go unpunished.

“We need to work to prove that some beliefs are nothing more than myths,” Anas said. “We need to shatter those myths, and move forward towards a more progressive society than we live in now.”

The Child Rights class, jointly held via video conferencing technology with the Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, explores the theory and practice of children’s rights in North America and other world regions, most especially Africa, and includes an examination of relevant international law, especially the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Students got to engage Anas on issues around his work philosophy, rights of expression, thought and religion, how he managed entrapment accusations and unintended consequences of his reports, and how he made sure that his work actually influenced authorities to change systems.

“Sometimes, there are low points. You may break a story that leads to very little immediate change, and you could feel like giving up,” Anas said. “But what you have to do is ensure that you don’t just report a story and go to bed. You have to do frequent follow-ups, and engage with civil society. Prosecution can be very slow, so you need to have both solid evidence and a lot of patience, and you can get there.”

Referred to by some as the “James Bond of Ghanaian Journalism”, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has detailed cases of corruption and human rights abuses around the world – without ever revealing his identity. In disguise, he has found his way into different places where has gathered evidence of wrongdoing, and presented it as evidence for prosecution.

Published On: November 13th, 2013 / Categories: News /

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Anas Aremeyaw Anas is a Ghanaian investigative journalist born in the late 1970s. He specializes in print media and documentary and is politically non-aligned focusing on issues of human rights and anti-corruption in sub-Saharan Africa. Anas' motto is "name, shame and jail", and he is famous for utilizing his anonymity as a tool in his investigative arsenal. Very few people had seen his face (until an "unmasking" during a BBC interview in November 2015 —which revealed yet another prosthetic).

Anas has won more than 50 international and local awards for his work advocating basic human rights, such as the right to not be held in human slavery and for his work exposing corruption. His investigative works have won him worldwide acclaim, including President Barack Obama highlighting him in a speech during a 2009 visit to Ghana: "An independent press”, a vibrant private sector, a civil society….those are the things that give life to democracy. We see that spirit in courageous journalists like Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who risked his life to report the truth.”

Anas hail from Bimbilla in Northern Ghana and grew up in Burma Camp, a military barracks in Accra. He attended the Christian Methodist Secondary School and Ghana Institute of Journalism where he got his first diploma before studying his first degree at the University of Ghana. He later attended the Faculty of Law and the Ghana Law School.

After university he turned down an opportunity to work as a reporter for the Ghanaian Times newspaper, instead choosing to join The Crusading Guide newspaper in 1998. The editor of the newspaper, Kweku Baako Jnr, had just been released from jail in the same year. Anas later became co-publisher of The New Crusading Guide, and subsequently opened his own production and investigation company, Tiger Eye PI Media, in 2008.

Anas has collaborated widely with Al-Jazeera and the BBC, among other international clients. In 2017 he started The Tiger Eye Foundation as a media non- profit and 501c3, in the USA and Ghana, that uses a dynamic set of initiatives to promote and elevate the standards in journalism. The foundation educates and supports journalists through hands-on investigative journalism workshops, multimedia boot camps, investigative productions, broadcasts and community outreach programs. Anas was called to the Bar in 2013, and since then has mostly defended himself in court.

In December 2015 Foreign Policy magazine named Anas one of 2015's leading global thinkers, an honour previously granted to the likes of Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, and Malala Yousafzai. He is consistently invited to talk on his work at gatherings all around the world and in March 2016, Anas was invited by Harvard Law School as a keynote speaker to share his experiences creating change on the continent of Africa. In 2016 Anas had an award named after him by the Press Foundation in Ghana. The founder of the press foundation Mr Listowel Yesu Bukarson said: "This award was named after the world-renowned investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas to aid journalists to climb to the highest apogee in their chosen profession". 'Chameleon’ by Ryan Mullins, a documentary about Anas's life and work, was premiered at the 2014 IDFA festival in Amsterdam.

In the period from October to December 2016, Anas made his first foray into public life, outside of the world of investigative journalism, as a powerful advocate for peace in his "Anas4Peace" multimedia campaign, using Ghanaian celebrities to advocate for peace during the Ghana election period.

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