Screenshot of the Crusading Guide
While most journalists would feel violated by a police attack, for Ghanaian reporter Anas Aremeyaw Anas an assault by the authorities signalled the success of his undercover investigation.

Working as a cleaner at a brothel to expose the prostitution of young girls, Anas was treated like one of the punters in a police raid he had helped to organise.

"When they came to arrest everybody they assaulted me several times and I was happy about that, because it meant it was never leaked by the police hierarchy that I was undercover," Anas told attendees at a Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) event last night.

Anas won this year's Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism for an exposee on human trafficking in West Africa, which resulted in 17 victims being freed.

But, speaking at last night's event, he said the work of journalists to expose illegality in Ghana is often restricted by a corrupt society legal system.

"I operate in a very complex system, an environment where a very rich person can quickly overturn a verdict of a court or can easily buy a judge," he explained.

"It's not because the journalist is not performing well - I have seen a lot of my colleagues who have written very good stories, yet very many powerful people have just gone to pay off a judge to rule against them."

In his work for the Crusading Guide newspaper, Anas said he has previously used unorthodox methods to conduct an investigation or produce an article.

"Sometimes you need the illegality in order to obtain the information, I think that it boils down to the public interest. But I think there are levels of illegality."

"It's a reaction: I watched my society carefully and decided that this is how I have to work and I think it's paid off very well. I have chosen to belong to the remedy."

For safety reasons the journalist refused to be photographed, saying that if he becomes recognisable he will be unable to continue with his work.

"Your face is really important, because as an undercover journalist that's all you have. If you have been really threatened before, the threats become normal because they come every single day. When the story is so hot, they move me out of the country," he said.

"If I say I am going undercover then this face you are looking at now does not go undercover. I have to dress and stand in front of my boss and mother, if they cannot recognise me then I'm in business."

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