IPC raises concerns over press freedom violation

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The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria, on the occasion of this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), has joined the global community to raise concerns about press freedom violations.

IPC, in a statement in Lagos yesterday by Communications Officer Olutoyin Ayoade urged the government to respect its commitment and uphold the right to freedom of expression, as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Peoples and Human Rights.

The statement said: “The International day is a day to reflect on issues of press freedom and professional ethics as well as to support journalists and other media professionals, who are often the targets of attacks on press freedom.

“It is worrisome that IPC has monitored and documented not less than 40 incidents of press freedom attacks on 49 journalists in year 2021 alone, while since 2020 the organisation has identified over 100 journalists and other media professionals who have been victims of surveillance, spying, harassment, threats, violence, assaults, battery, unlawful arrests, jailing, robberies, kidnappings, and suspected murder.

“IPC notes that these acts were committed by state governments and their agencies, Department of State Services (DSS), Rapid Response Squad (RRS), police officers, state police commands, Nigeria Police Intelligence Response Team, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), gunmen, hoodlums, private organisations, etc.

“Taking into account the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day: ‘Journalism Under Digital Siege’, the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, remarked that the prevalence of press freedom infractions in the country indicates that there is now an urgent need for media stakeholders to jointly identify and develop sustainable solutions, including raising the standard of safety of journalists and media freedom in Nigeria.

“The reality is there is little or no justice or even compensation for the victims, while the perpetrators go scot-free. We must, therefore, work together to fortify the safety of journalists and media professionals.”

Arogundade said in order to promote the conversation, IPC would on May 11 launch two documentaries, which would highlight IPC’s interviews with journalists and other media professionals, who were victims of brutal press freedom violations during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown and the #ENDSARS protests.”

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