SERAP urges Buhari to withdraw gag order on reporting of terrorist attacks
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had in a letter dated July 7, 2021, issued a directive asking journalists, television and radio stations in Nigeria to stop giving too many details on the activities of terrorists and kidnappers during their daily newspaper reviews.
Reacting, SERAP in a letter dated July 17, 2021, signed by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, said the contents of the directive by the NBC to journalists and broadcast stations are entirely inconsistent and incompatible with Nigeria’s obligations under Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The organisation said: “We would be grateful if the repressive directive is withdrawn within 24 hours of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions in the public interest.”
The body expressed concern that the directive would restrict the rights to freedom of expression, information, and victims’ right to justice and effective remedies that are central to public debate and accountability in a democratic society.
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