I get traumatised: Anas speaks to BBC on near-death assignments
International investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaws Anas, credited with several mind-blowing undercover works, has admitted to being traumatized a number of times after coming face to face with death in the line of duty.
Ghanaian journalists have been involved in a number of life-threatening situations whilst going undercover, escaping by the skin of the teeth.
He was recently lynched in Malawi when led a team of BBC journalists investigating a series of mysterious murders in that country.
The BBC had said the team were working undercover to expose men who claim to suck the blood of children to make get-rich amulets when they were attacked by a crowd of furious villagers.
The villagers had mistaken Anas and his team for the killers.
Well over a month after the incident, the investigative journalist told BBC World Service on Saturday that he was still traumatised by his close shave with death.
“Just like any other story that happens, the trauma will still be there, but the impact is what brings the smiles on our faces, when you know that the story has really touched the nerve, it gives us a lot of courage,” Anas said when asked if he has recovered from the trauma.
Nonetheless, Anas pointed out, “we think that despite the problems, we have been able to mirror exactly what the situation is”.
The Malawi incident is certainly not the first in his life as Anas Aremeyaw Anas told the BBC that he has seen “many near-death situations” in exposing corruption and killers in society both in Ghana and abroad.
“They are near-death in such a way that, well, if you turn this way you may not die, there are near-death situations that you know your back up plan…” he explained.
In the Malawi case, he said, it was “beyond control”, stressing that the situation was terrifying to the extent that “even the local police were scared and the chief could not contain it”.
Addressing concerns that the BBC failed to work with local vigilante group to protect its journalists, Anas said considering the situation on the ground, working with vigilante group was not the best.
He explained that some members of the vigilante group were part of the syndicate, suggesting why it was not proper to deal with persons who are “neck-deep” into the ritual murders.