Category: Press Releases, Africa, Nigeria

IPI’s Nigeria National Committee says journalist detentions are a “throw back to the best forgotten dark days of dictatorial regimes”

Threats to press freedom are a threat to Nigerian democracy


A man reads a newspaper at a vendor's stand in Obalende district in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, December 2, 2009. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

ABUJA, April 10, 2013 -- The Nigeria National Commmittee of the International Press Institute (IPI), the global platform for a free press, notes with concern the continuing travails of the journalists working with the Leadership newspapers in Nigeria.

Although the police released the journalists after two unwarranted, agonizing nights in detention, we see nothing to celebrate in their release because they ought not to have been detained in the first instance.

Detaining journalists while investigating their alleged professional infractions is a throw back to the best forgotten dark days of dictatorial regimes. The courts, not detention centres, are the proper place to take alleged offenders.

IPI Nigeria also frowns at the journalists' conditional release- where they are made to continue to report to the police- as this is illegal and unacceptable. The police cannot usurp the power of the courts.

IPI Nigeria warns against resort to arbitrariness in dealing with complaints against the press. A threat to the press is a threat to our democracy.

 

Signed

Kabiru Yusuf

Chairman,

IPI Nigeria National Committee


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