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  • I am sorry I cannot show you my face,

  • because if I do, the bad guys will come for me.

  • My journey started 14 years ago.

  • I was a young reporter. I had just come out of college.

  • Then I got a scoop.

  • The scoop was quite a very simple story.

  • Police officers were taking bribes

  • from hawkers who were hawking on the streets.

  • As a young reporter, I thought that I should do it

  • in a different way, so that it has a maximum impact,

  • since everybody knew that it was happening,

  • and yet there was nothing that was keeping it out of the system.

  • So I decided to go there

  • and act as a seller.

  • As part of selling, I was able to document

  • the hard core evidence.

  • The impact was great.

  • It was fantastic.

  • This was what many call immersion journalism,

  • or undercover journalism.

  • I am an undercover journalist.

  • My journalism is hinged on three basic principles:

  • naming, shaming and jailing.

  • Journalism is about results.

  • It's about affecting your community or your society

  • in the most progressive way.

  • I have worked on this for over 14 years,

  • and I can tell you, the results are very good.

  • One story that comes to mind

  • in my undercover pieces

  • is "Spirit Child."

  • It was about children who were born with deformities,

  • and their parents felt that once they were born

  • with those deformities,

  • they were not good enough to live in the society,

  • so they were given some concoction to take

  • and as a result they died.

  • So I built a prosthetic baby,

  • and I went into the village,

  • pretended as though this baby had been born

  • with a deformity, and here was the guys who do the killing.

  • They got themselves ready.

  • In their bids to kill, I got the police on standby,

  • and they came that fateful morning

  • to come and kill the child.

  • I recall how they were seriously boiling the concoction.

  • They put it on fire. It was boiling hot,

  • getting ready to give to the kids.

  • Whilst this was going on, the police I had alerted,

  • they were on standby,

  • and just as the concoction was ready,

  • and they were about to give it to the kids,

  • I phoned the police,

  • and fortunately they came and busted them.

  • As I speak now, they are before the courts.

  • Don't forget the key principles:

  • naming, shaming and jailing.

  • The court process is taking place,

  • and I'm very sure at the end of the day

  • we will find them, and we will put them

  • where they belong too.

  • Another key story that comes to mind,

  • which relates to this spirit child phenomenon,

  • is "The Spell of the Albinos."

  • I'm sure most of you may have heard, in Tanzania,

  • children who are born with albinism

  • are sometimes considered as being unfit

  • to live in society.

  • Their bodies are chopped up with machetes

  • and are supposed to be used for some concoctions

  • or some potions for people to get money --

  • or so many, many stories people would tell about it.

  • It was time to go undercover again.

  • So I went undercover as a man who was interested

  • in this particular business, of course.

  • Again, a prosthetic arm was built.

  • For the first time, I filmed on hidden camera

  • the guys who do this, and they were ready to buy the arm

  • and they were ready to use it to prepare

  • those potions for people.

  • I am glad today the Tanzanian government has taken action,

  • but the key issue is that the Tanzanian government

  • could only take action because the evidence was available.

  • My journalism is about hard core evidence.

  • If I say you have stolen, I show you the evidence

  • that you have stolen.

  • I show you how you stole it

  • and when, or what you used

  • what you had stolen to do.

  • What is the essence of journalism if it doesn't benefit society?

  • My kind of journalism is a product

  • of my society.

  • I know that sometimes

  • people have their own criticisms

  • about undercover journalism.

  • (Video) Official: He brought out some money from his pockets

  • and put it on the table,

  • so that we should not be afraid.

  • He wants to bring the cocoa and send it to Cote d'Ivoire.

  • So with my hidden intention, I kept quiet.

  • I didn't utter a word.

  • But my colleagues didn't know.

  • So after collecting the money,

  • when he left, we were waiting for him to bring the goods.

  • Immediately after he left, I told my colleagues that

  • since I was the leader of the group,

  • I told my colleagues that if they come,

  • we will arrest them.

  • Second official: I don't even know the place called [unclear].

  • I've never stepped there before.

  • So I'm surprised.

  • You see a hand counting money just in front of me.

  • The next moment, you see the money in my hands,

  • counting, whereas I have not come into contact with anybody.

  • I have not done any business with anybody.

  • Reporter: When Metro News contacted investigative reporter

  • Anas Aremeyaw Anas for his reaction,

  • he just smiled and gave this video extract

  • he did not use in the documentary recently shown onscreen.

  • The officer who earlier denied involvement

  • pecks a calculator to compute the amount of money

  • they will charge on the cocoa to be smuggled.

  • Anas Aremeyaw Anas: This was another story on anticorruption.

  • And here was him, denying.

  • But you see, when you have the hard core evidence,

  • you are able to affect society.

  • Sometimes these are some of the headlines that come. (Music)

  • [I will curse Anas to death]

  • [Anas Lies]

  • [Alarm Blows Over Anas' News for Cash Video]

  • [Agenda Against Top CEPS Officials Exposed]

  • [Anas Operates with Invisible Powers?]

  • [Gov't Wobbles Over Anas Video]

  • [Hunting the Hunter]

  • [Anas 'Bribe' Men in Court]

  • [15 Heads Roll Over Anas Tape]

  • [Finance Minister Backs Anas]

  • [11 Given Queries Over Anas' Story]

  • [GJA Stands By Anas]

  • [Prez. Mills Storms Tema Harbour Over Anas Video]

  • ["Late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills: Former president of Ghana"]

  • John Evans Atta Mills: What Anas says

  • is not something which is unknown to many of us,

  • but please, those of you who are agents,

  • and who are leading the customs officers into temptation,

  • I'm telling you, Ghana is not going to say

  • any good things to you about this.

  • AAA: That was my president.

  • I thought that I couldn't come here

  • without giving you something special.

  • I have a piece, and I'm excited that

  • I'm sharing it for the first time with you here.

  • I have been undercover in the prisons.

  • I have been there for a long time.

  • And I can tell you, what I saw is not nice.

  • But again, I can only affect society

  • and affect government if I bring out the hard core evidence.

  • Many times, the prison authorities have denied

  • ever having issues of drug abuse,

  • issues of sodomy, so many issues they would deny

  • that it ever happens.

  • How can you obtain the hard core evidence?

  • So I was in the prison. ["Nsawan Prison"]

  • Now, what you are seeing is a pile of dead bodies.

  • Now, I happen to have followed one of my inmates,

  • one of my friends, from his sick bed till death,

  • and I can tell you it was not a nice thing at all.

  • There were issues of bad food being served

  • as I recall that some of the food I ate

  • is just not good for a human being.

  • Toilet facilities: very bad.

  • I mean, you had to queue to get proper toilets to attend --

  • and that's what I call proper,

  • when four of us are on a manhole.

  • It is something that if you narrate it to somebody,

  • the person wouldn't believe it.

  • The only way that you can let the person believe

  • is when you show hard core evidence.

  • Of course, drugs were abundant.

  • It was easier to get cannabis, heroin and cocaine,

  • faster even, in the prison than outside the prison.

  • Evil in the society is an extreme disease.

  • If you have extreme diseases,

  • you need to get extreme remedies.

  • My kind of journalism might not fit in other continents

  • or other countries,

  • but I can tell you, it works in my part of the continent

  • of Africa, because usually, when people talk

  • about corruption, they ask, "Where is the evidence?

  • Show me the evidence."

  • I say, "This is the evidence."

  • And that has aided in me putting a lot of people behind bars.

  • You see, we on the continent are able

  • to tell the story better because we face the conditions

  • and we see the conditions.

  • That is why I was particularly excited

  • when we launched our "Africa Investigates" series

  • where we investigated a lot of African countries.

  • As a result of the success of the "Africa Investigates" series,

  • we are moving on to World Investigates.

  • By the end of it, a lot more bad guys

  • on our continent will be put behind bars.

  • This will not stop.

  • I'm going to carry on with this kind of journalism,

  • because I know that when evil men destroy,

  • good men must build and bind.

  • Thank you very much.

  • (Applause)

  • Chris Anderson: Thank you. Thank you.

  • I have some questions for you.

  • How did you end up in jail? This was just a few weeks ago, I believe, yeah?

  • AAA: Sure. You know, undercover is all about

  • setting the priorities right, so we got people

  • to take me to court.

  • So I went through the very legal process,

  • because at the end of the day, the prison authorities

  • want to check whether indeed you have been there or not,

  • and that's how I got in there.

  • CA: So someone sued you in court,

  • and they took you there, and you were in remand custody

  • for part of it, and you did that deliberately.

  • AAA: Yes, yes.

  • CA: Talk to me just about fear

  • and how you manage that,

  • because you're regularly putting your life at risk.

  • How do you do that?

  • AAA: You see, undercover is always a last resort.

  • Before we go undercover, we follow the rules.

  • And I'm only comfortable and I'm purged of fear

  • whenever I am sure that all the steps

  • have been taken. I don't do it alone. I have a backup team

  • who help ensure that the safety and all the systems

  • are put in place, but you've got to take

  • very intelligent decisions whenever they are happening.

  • If you don't, you will end up losing your life.

  • So yes, when the backup systems are put in place,

  • I'm okay, I go in. Risky, yes,

  • but it's a hazard of a profession.

  • I mean, everybody has their hazard.

  • And once you say that is yours,

  • you've got to take it, as and when it comes.

  • CA: Well, you're an amazing human and you've done amazing work

  • and you've taught us a story

  • like no story I think any of us have heard before.

  • And we're appreciative. We salute you. Thank you so much, Anas.

  • AAA: Thank you.

  • CA: Thank you. Stay safe. (Applause)

I am sorry I cannot show you my face,

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B1 TED undercover journalism hard core evidence prison

【TED】Anas Aremeyaw Anas: How I named, shamed and jailed (How I named, shamed and jailed | Anas Aremeyaw Anas)

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    阿多賓 posted on 2014/03/06
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