SERAP Decries Siege of the Media in Nigeria—- Launches Report in Lagos


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has decried the current siege of the media in Nigeria and consequently launched its latest report titled: “Something to Hide?: Media Freedom Under Siege in Nigeria”. The report was launched last Thursday at Radission Hotel, Ikeja Lagos.

In a key note address, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, opined that there is every reason to conclude that the government indeed has something to hide from Nigerians hence the current growing siege on the media, citing the recent closure of Channels Television as a very bad precedent. He advised the government to retrace its footsteps and allow the media, the fourth Estate of the Realm, to perform its functions without let or hindrance.

The report documents the increasing cases of harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detention and deaths of journalists, bloggers and other media workers while carrying out their legitimate work. The report also details how state governors are using their powers to attack media freedom within their states and to silence journalists, bloggers and other media workers.
It documents issues of hate speech, fake news, suppression of media freedom by other ex-judicial means, and criminal contempt and highlights what might be done to address the problems.

The report has however made several recommendations to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari; the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice; the Minister of Information; the National Assembly; the National Human Rights Commission; the 36 state governors of Nigeria; the Nigerian Guild of Editors and Nigerian Union of Journalists; as well as to the United Nations human rights mechanisms; the African Union, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to push for the full and effective respect for the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and media freedom in Nigeria.

SERAP, a non-profit, nonpartisan, legal and advocacy organization is devoted to promoting transparency, accountability and respect for socio-economic rights in Nigeria. The organization received the Wole Soyinka Anti-Corruption Defender Award in 2014, and was nominated for the UN Civil Society Award and Ford Foundation’s Jubilee Transparency Award. SERAP is a member of the UNCAC Coalition, a global anti-corruption network of over 350 civil society organizations (CSOs) in over 100 countries, which is committed to promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption. SERAP previously served as one of two Sub-Saharan African civil society representatives on the governing Committee of the Coalition.

NEW SENTINEL exclusively gathered that the ultimate aim is to use the Report’s recommendations to promote freedom of expression and media freedom in Nigeria, ensure journalists are free from intimidation and harassment and to encourage more reports on corruption issues by journalists and active citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption.reports on corruption issues by journalists and active citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption.

 
 
 
 

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