HURIWA Condemns Torture, Detention of Journalists in Delta and Kaduna

HURIWA Condemns Torture, Detention of Journalists in Delta and Kaduna

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The frontline civil society group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has unreservedly condemnedas primitive; reprehensible and despicable the torture by soldiers of ajournalist Emmanuel Ogoigbe of TheSun in Warri, Delta State.

Similarly, HURIWA has called for the unconditional release of a journalist in Kaduna Mr. Jacob Onjewu Dickson detained for no just cause by operatives of the Nigerian police force on the illegal and absolutely  arbitrary orders of the Kaduna State government.

The Rights group has resolved to petition the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to demand immediate redress and forstringent sanctions for the defaulting soldiers who have through their dismal conduct attempted to rubbish the good name of the Army which as an institutionunder the current dispensation has set up a functional human rights desk.

In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the NationalDirector of Media Affairs Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA has charged the information minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed to activate effective mechanisms for defending the constitutionally guaranteed human rights of journalists and to ensure thatmedia workers are fully entitled to proceed with their duties as enshrinedunder Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution without let or hindrance. 

According to Section 22 “The Press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free touphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold theresponsibility and accountability of the government to the people”.

HURIWA has therefore tasked the minister of information to pay particular attention  to thepromotion and protection of the constitutional rights of media workers who havecome under increasing violent attacks from a range of reactionary forcesincluding government officials and armed security forces.

HURIWAhas also tasked the Nigerian Union of Journalists to defend the rights of their members at all times.

HURIWA recalled that soldiers from the 3 Battalion Effurun of the Nigerian Army last Saturday almost killed a senior correspondent of the SUN Newspapers in Warri,Elder Emmanuel Ogoigbe, torturing him until he fell into coma.

Elder Ogoigbe, a sea­soned journalist who had spent several decades in the profession with top­flight national dailies, wasbattered by soldiers at a checkpoint in Okoribi Quarters, Off Uti Street, Effurun, for voluntarily alerting the uniformed men of a possible break­down oflaw and order.

The SUN journalist af­ter being flogged by the irate soldiers led by Staff Sergeant O. Joseph, was further forced to drink and swim in stagnant drainage water. The Rights group said it would press charges if the hierarchy of the Army fails to take action. 

HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATIONOF NIGERIA similarly recalled that Kaduna State Governor,Nasir Ahmad El-rufai reportedly ordered the arrest and subsequently sent aKaduna-based journalist, Mr. Jacob Onjewu Dickson to prison custody, on theallegation of writing a story the state Government described as inciting.
 
Jacob Onjewu was invited by the State Police Command over a story an online newsmedium www.autthenticnewsdaily to the effect  that the governor was  pelted and booed in  Angwan Gado, a suburb of Malali axis inKaduna North-local government area of the state where a communal clash was said to have broken out

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