New Telegraph

IPC Condemns Police Attack On Journalists Covering Kano Tribunal

The International Press Centre (IPC) Center for Safety and Protection of Journalists (I-CSPJ) has heavily criticized the actions of the Kano State Police Command’s personnel for their assault on journalists reporting on the Kano State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

New Telegraph had earlier reported that the police officers at the Kano tribunal harassed Salim Umar Ibrahim from Daily Trust and Zahraddeen Lawal, a BBC Hausa reporter. They also damaged the journalists’ equipment during the incident.

Speaking on the development,  Melody Akinjiyan, the Press Freedom Officer at I-CSPJ, conveyed in a statement issued on Wednesday that the Executive Director of IPC, Mr Lanre Arogundade, expressed concern over the unjustified assaults on journalists who were carrying out their legitimate duties.

He emphasized that such actions pose a significant threat to press freedom and the nation’s democracy.

He said: “IPC’s Centre for Safety and Protection of Journalists (I-CSPJ), is extremely dismayed by the reported police attack on some journalists who were in the court to cover the sitting of the Kano Governorship Election petition tribunal, today Wednesday, September 20, 2023.

“While some went after a BBC reporter trying to seize his phone, others held Salim Ibrahim of Daily Trust and forcefully collected his phone, damaging the screen.

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“The unwarranted attacks on journalists on legitimate duty is dangerous to our democracy and a major threat to press freedom. Such an act violates the fundamental human rights of the journalists.

“We urge the men of the Nigerian Police Force to be mindful of actions they take against journalists and not continually create an environment where journalists would be afraid to work and discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.

“I-CSPJ, therefore, calls on the Kano State Commissioner of Police to take adequate and swift measures to bring to book those who assaulted the journalists while putting in place machinery to compensate the affected journalists for this inhumane treatment.

“We also call on the Nigeria Police Force to step up the training of its officers to be more respectful and courteous in relating with journalists and other media professionals. They should be reminded constantly that the primary responsibility of the Police is the protection of citizens including journalists.”

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