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
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.