Posted by News Express | 3 August 2021 | 163 times
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Council, has described the intimidation and harassment of journalists by personnel of the State Security Services (SSS) as threat to democracy and the rule of law.
The union stated this following the physical harassment and assault on a photojournalist with the Vanguard Newspapers, Oluwagbemiga Olamikan, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, while je was taking the pictures of Sunday Igboho’s aide.
In a press statement jointly signed by Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche and Ochiaka Ugwu, Chairman and Secretary of the council, respectively on Monday in Abuja, the union noted that it has become habitual for the SSS and other security agencies to harass journalists while doing their legitimate duties, and called for an immediate end to the use of force against journalists and media workers in general.
The statement read, “It is unfortunate to state that reporters and photojournalists were barred from covering the previous court session. Council lamented that in recent time, violence against journalists has increased with the authorities directing aggression towards journalists, especially in terms of harassment, arbitrary detentions of journalists covering events making most journalists to be concerned about their safety.
“It is worrisome that this is happening exactly one month after the NUJ launched a Five- Year-Review on press freedom in Nigeria starting from 2016 to 2021 where the report indicted state actors who have formed the habit of trying to gag the press always.
“However, council has previously reported on the disproportionate use of force by the state actors against journalists during coverage with security operatives preventing audio and visual recordings of protests and public demonstrations.” (Daily Independent)
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