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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

UNLAWFUL DETENTION OF FAMILY WRITERS PRESS CORRESPONDENTS, A CLARION CALL FOR THE PROTECTION OF JOURNALISTS

UNLAWFUL DETENTION OF FAMILY WRITERS PRESS CORRESPONDENTS, A CLARION CALL FOR THE PROTECTION OF JOURNALISTS

By Kingsley John Chibuzor
For Family Writers Press

The abduction and incarceration of Family Writers Press Correspondents - Mazi Egwuatu Chukwuka and Prince Daniel by the Nigerian Police Force at Enugu, clocked one full month on the 4th of December, 2017. They  were arrested on the 4th of November, 2017 in the course of discharging their professional duties as journalists during the last Local Government Chairmanship and Councillorship Election in Enugu State. The Nigerian Police Officials picked them up right at the location of their official assignments under trumped charge of being suspected bombers that masterminded an explosion that rocked the area during the election.

Since then, they have remained incommunicado and are being held under the most dehumanizing conditions. The Enugu State Police Commissioner has refused bringing them to Court to prove the fraudulent charges preferred against them.

It is a rape on  democracy for the rights of the innocent to be persistently bastardized by the agents of government and nobody is brought to question. The lingering intimidation of journalists in Nigeria which claims to be practicing democracy by the Security Operatives is to say the least, exceptionally demeaning. It could be recalled that on the 16th of July 2017, the Nigerian Police in Katsina State, Northern Nigeria, abducted and detained a journalist called Danjuma Katsina, over alleged "injurious comments" he made then about an elected member - named Mansur Mashi, of Nigeria's House of Representatives from the state.

A number of journalists have risked their lives in the course of carrying out their legitimate functions. They have faced and are yet facing several grades of inhuman tortures under the wicked custody of these overzealous security personnel especially the Nigerian military who feel threatened by the exposition of the media of their atrocious deeds.

WHAT REALLY ARE THE PRIMARY FUNCTIONS OF JOURNALISTS?

1) Journalists inform the public about immediate and remote developments around within and outside their localities and the inherent consequences of such events.

2) They employ their expertise in investigative journalism privately or by proxy, to really get the accurate information of any given event thereby feeding the public with the truth.

Egwuatu Chukwuka and Prince Daniel were physically present at their places of assignments in order to (cover) get first-hand information about the procedures of the Enugu councillorship election when the bomb explosion occurred. The Nigerian Police acting in falsehood and without detailed and proper investigations, arrested these men, confiscated their gadgets and hurriedly tagged them bomb masterminds.

This write-up therefore comes in as a Protest Call on the INTERNATIONAL PRESS CENTRE, to immediately expedite action against the continued illegal detention of these two correspondents of the Family Writers Press, as well as other journalists arrested while carrying out their duties, who are presently being incarcerated by the Nigerian Security Forces. It is only in Nigeria that gathering information and making same public as obligated by professional ethics as media personnel, is a crime. Egwuatu Chukwuka and Prince Daniel have no weapons other than pens, cameras and other gadgets as journalists. These are men of proven integrity, assigned to document facts concerning the councillorship election in Enugu State and not terrorists as assumed.

#FreeEgwuatuChuks
AndPrinceDan#
#StopTerrorisingJournalistsInNigeria#

Yes, in democracy, there exists Media Freedom!

Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press

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