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Ensure press freedom — Reps tell FG, NPF

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The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), to ensure press freedom.

The House was speaking against unlawful arrest and detention of journalists.

In a motion by Honourable Clement Jimbo, the Lawmaker also warned that anyone who violates the cybercrime act should be charged to court in line with the law, and not illegally arrested and detained.

The lawmaker drew attention to the fact that 10 journalists have been arrested in the last year, while also raising concerns around claims of cyberbullying.

The house also urged the police, to rely strictly on the Cybercrime Act when such matters arise.

In May, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) called on Nigerian authorities to stop using repressive laws against journalists.

The groups made the call in a joint statement as the international community marked World Press Freedom Day.

They said, “The government of President Bola Tinubu, the country’s 36 governors, and the FCT minister must now genuinely uphold press freedom, ensure access to information to all Nigerians, obey court judgments, and respect the rule of law.”

The groups expressed “serious concerns about the escalating crackdown on the right to freedom of expression and media freedom and the flagrant disregard for the rule of law by authorities at all levels of government.”

They noted, “that the suppression of the press in recent times takes various forms ranging from extrajudicial to unlawful detentions, disappearances, malicious prosecutions and wrongful use of both legislation and law enforcement.”

The statement added, “We would continue to speak truth to power and to hold authorities to account for their constitutional and international obligations including on freedom of expression and media freedom”.

 

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