ActionAid, JAP want state actors to prioritise journalists protection

In commemoration of the 2019 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with Journalists Against Poverty (JAP) has called on state actors and other constituted authorities in Nigeria to prioritise the protection and safety of every Journalist across the country so as to ensure fairness and equity in the polity.

The Action Aid Country Director, Ene Obi at a roundtable meeting in commemoration of the day organized by Journalists Against Poverty Wednesday in Abuja lamented that despite the country being in a democratic dispensation, the Nigerian press have continued to face intimidation and in some climes murder.

Giving statistics by UNESCO indicating that globally between 1999 and 2019, 639 journalists has been murdered, while 16 of them were Nigerians, she stressed that in a democracy journalists should not be targeted nor persecuted for executing their responsibility of informing and educating the public.

Obi said United Nation’s Secretary General, Antonio Guterres noted that “when journalists are targeted, the society as a whole pay the price. Without Journalists able to do their jobs safely we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation”.

She said Action Aid as a non-partisan civil society say no to impunity against Journalists and condemn it in all totality.

Also, the Cordinator of Journalists Against Poverty (JAP) Wale Elekulosi, said these heinous crimes and human rights violations against journalists are being condemned by the United Nations on this day, Nigeria must also in her might ensure that the safety of her fourth realm of the estate is prioritised at all times.

“Journalists are the agents of change, who promote transparency and accountability in any sane society.

“It is quite disheartening that media strangulation and attempts to silence the voice of the truth in Nigeria are not being perceived as major damaged to our society itself.

“Journalists are now scared to perform in their duties due the threats and fear of being killed or incarcerated unjustly.

“Nigerian authorities have legally binding obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights to freedom of information, freedom of expression, media freedom and personal liberty of everyone,” he said. 

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