NHRC raises concern over safety of Nigerian journalists
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed concerns over the safety of Nigerian journalists.
Executive Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu, at a two-day training organised by the NHRC, said that journalists operate under challenging conditions where freedom is relegated to the background.
“It is not gainsaid that safety of journalists has been a growing concern in the country and elsewhere in the world.
“Given that some journalists operate under difficult conditions, where freedom of expression and the press is relegated to the background,” he said.
The theme of the training is “Defending the Rights of Journalists and Media Practitioners through National Safety Mechanism”.
The executive secretary said the training was designed to give more insight into the situation and challenges of journalism practice in Nigeria.
He decried that journalists were faced with “issue of censorship, harassment, unlawful arrest and detention and assassination are not uncommon.”
Mr Ojukwu said that journalists’ rights were often violated and trampled upon despite constitutional guarantees and legislation.
The NHRC boss added that the culprits could be state or non-state actors or others who are not comfortable with specific investigated issues.
“The UN plan of action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, says, in a climate where journalists are safe, citizens find it easier to access quality information and many objectives become possible as a result.
“There are democratic governance and poverty reduction, conservation of the environment, gender equality and the empowerment of women, justice and culture of human rights, to name a few,” he said.
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