FAJ Condemns Impunity against Media in Africa

 

 

The Federation of African Journalists

(FAJ) is alarmed about the increasing cases of arrests and detention of

Journalists and media personnel as well as attacks on media organisations and

destruction of their property across the African Continent.

 

We are disturbed by this development and

how journalists take great personal and professional risks to collect process

and disseminate news and information to over 1 billion African citizens in 54

states, unfortunately have continued to be victims of various acts of impunity

by various governments and their agents.

 

 FAJ is equally worried with the re arrest,  detention and subsequent

arraignment in court on 10 count charge of forgery against TONY AMOKOEDO,

and  CHIBUZOR UKAIBE, Editors of the Leadership Newspapers, in

Abuja Nigeria, and we cautioned against their continued detention and

harassment. They were to be prosecuted for allegedly forging the document which

formed the basis of the newspapers April 3, 2013, front page story. They

appeared in court and were released conditionally, to appear on the 23, April

2013.

 

 Attacks against journalists and media equipment are illegal under

the international humanitarian law, and such attacks from all intents and

purposes pose serious threats to the media.  FAJ is therefore

committed to paying particular attention to the safety of all Journalists in

members Unions and the respect for freedom of expression and press freedom

which are of paramount importance to assuring freedom of the press, freedom of

expression and democratic governance.

 

Recent developments in the continent have

further heightened concerns for the safety of journalists and there are clear

signals that all may not be well for these media professionals who mostly

without any insurance cover.

We urge the Nigerian authorities to respect

the professional independence and rights of journalists, media staff and

associated personnel, to properly investigate all violations of their rights,

and to promote their safety, security and freedom of movement in accordance

with the law.