Sunday, July 25, 2021

CNN’s investigation on Lekki Tollgate shooting shortlisted for Amnesty Media Awards

The award which has been running for 29 years, aims at recognising the vital role journalists play and the serious risks they face.

• March 16, 2021
snapshot from footage of soldiers shooting the Lekki protesters.
A snapshot from footage of soldiers shooting the Lekki protesters

Amnesty International shortlisted CNN’s Lekki Tollgate investigative report for the Amnesty UK Media Awards 2021, on Tuesday.

The CNN investigation was shortlisted under the Broadcast News category, alongside BBC Africa Eye: Lagos Inferno: The Explosion that Rocked Nigeria; Channel 4 News: Carers in Scotland denied death in service payment; and Sky News: Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis.

In October 2020, young Nigerians demonstrated across major cities in a historic protest against decades of police brutality. The exceptionally organised march went on peacefully for days until the Nigeria military forcefully dispersed marchers who were keeping vigil at the Lekki Toll Plaza on October 20. 

Many fatalities were recorded but the authorities continue to deny wrongdoing despite evidences such as those highlighted via the CNN report among other exclusives reported by Peoples Gazette.

Non-state actors, nudged by government agents also hijacked the protest in the aftermath of Lekki shooting, wreaking carnage on public utilities and harassing innocent citizens.

The Nigerian Army called all allegations that it fired into the crowd “fake news” and told a judicial panel of inquiry that it did not shoot at any civilian, but the CNN investigation, published on November 18, uncovered evidence that Nigerian security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters.

The Amnesty Media Award, which has been running for 29 years, aims at recognising the vital role journalists play and the serious risks they face in highlighting human rights abuses around the world.

There are 11 categories of the awards to celebrate excellence in human rights journalism over the past year and applaud the courage and determination of journalists and editors who sometimes put their lives on the line to report on vital human rights issues.

Other categories are, Features, Regional Media, Student Journalist, Radio and Podcasts, Best Use of Digital Media, The Gaby Rado Award for New Journalist, Investigation, and Documentaries.

The judging panel for the awards were made up of high profile UK journalists and Amnesty representatives.

The winners of each category will be announced at a virtual event on Wednesday 28 April.

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