Nigeria: Journalist arrested after taking photos of police raid

Mary Ekere, a journalist with The Post Newspaper in Uyo city, Nigeria, was arrested on Monday, 16 September by the authorities for taking photos of a police raid. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the National Union of Journalists of Nigeria (NUJ) in condemning her arrest for simply doing her job.

Mary Ekere. Credits: Premium Times

According to local media reports, Ekere was walking through a popular recreational spot when she saw officials of the Akwa Ibom regional government task force raiding the spot and decided to take pictures of the operation. The spot is said to be notorious for illegal street-trading.

Gideon Ekere, editor-in-chief of The Post Newspaper, said: “They (the police) were on an illegal operation, obviously. They arrested her for taking the photos, pushed her into their vehicle, and then threw her into jail!”.

Mary Ekere spent two nights in prison while the NUJ worked with the authorities to secure her freedom. The NUJ issued a statement on Tuesday night condemning the arrest and calling on the authorities to release her unconditionally.

She was finally released without charges on Wednesday 19 September.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger. “We welcome Mary's unconditional release but urge the Nigerian authorities to guarantee press freedom and journalists’ rights. The arrest of journalists for simply doing their job of informing the public is unacceptable”.

For more Information, please contact the IFJ - Africa Office

1st Floor, Maison de la Presse, 5 Rue X Corniche, Medina,

BP 64257, Dakar, Senegal

Tel: +221- 33 867 95 86/87; Fax: +221- 33 827 02