Nigerian Watchdog Condemns the Arrest of a Journalist

Statement from the International Press Centre

The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, Nigeria, has expressed strong concerns about the reported recent arrest of the punch correspondent in Akwa Ibom State, South-South, Nigeria Mr. Haruna Acheneje by men of the State Security Service (SSS) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Capital.

It was reported that three SSS men walked into Acheneje’s office at about noon on Thursday, June 30 2005 and arrested him. No official reason was given for his arrest and he was refused access to his colleagues and other sympathizers.

IPC Coordinator, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, recalled in a statement today that this is not the first time that Mr. Acheneje will be harassed as attempt was made by the Akwa Ibom States’ lawmakers to expel him from the state on August 14, 2003. He further said that the action strongly signifies a crack down on independent media in Akwa Ibom State and the country as a whole and constitutes a breach of the right of the journalist to liberty and the legitimate performance of his reportorial duties.

Mr. Arogundade asked that Acheneje be released immediately and be allowed to carry out his duties without intimidation and fear of molestation.

For more information please contact:

Bukola Adetan
Research & Documentation Officer
International Press Centre
Tel: 234-8035751297, 234-1-8112422
E-mail: [email protected],[email protected]