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ActionAid laments repressive attack on rights defenders, others

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ActionAid Country Director, Ene Obi

ActionAid Nigeria lamented repressive attacks on journalists and defenders of human rights in the country, urging government at all levels to create safe and favourable environment for them to carry out their activities for the good of the nation and its citizens.

ActionAid Nigeria is a non-governmental organisation working to promote human rights, combat poverty and all forms of injustice in Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja, the Country Director, Ene Obi, said: “Freedom of the press is one of the essential cornerstones of a democratic society. But, in Nigeria, there has been a consistent and dangerous attempt by both state and non-state actors to breach not only local and international statutes guaranteeing the essential freedom of expression but to expurgate and censure the media and journalists while doing their legitimate duties”.

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Obi recalled that a report released by Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) on November 13, 2020, revealed that a total of 160 journalists were attacked in Nigeria between 2018 and 2020.

The PTCIJ’s report also revealed that repression of the media and journalists in Nigeria ranges from physical attacks to arrests and detentions, unconstitutional legal proceedings, repressive laws and cyber-attacks, amongst others.

In another recent report on Nigeria titled “Climate of Violence,” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked the country at 120th position in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index and stated that “Nigeria is now one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists, who are often spied on, attacked, arbitrarily arrested or even killed.”

ActionAid Nigeria urged the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to review some of the stringent terms and conditions gagging or threatening press freedom and the rights to freedom of expression by citizens.

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ACTIONAIDEne Obi
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