U.S. lawmakers petition Nigeria over assaults on journalists, activists

Posted by News Express | 28 November 2019 | 780 times

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•The U.S. Congress

Senator Robert Menedez, on behalf of the Congress of the United States (U.S.), has written to the Head of Mission, Embassy of the Federal Republic Nigeria in the U.S., Ambassador Sylvanus Nsofor, expressing a strong concern about the clampdown on media and civic space in the country.

They noted that there have been a number of troubling reports about the security operatives in Nigeria assaulting journalists, using force on non-violent protesters and taking other actions against the people that restrict them from expressing its fundamental human rights in the country.

“We write to express our strong concern over closing media and civic space in Nigeria.

“There have been a lot of troubling reports about Nigerian security services assaulting and detaining journalists using excessive force on non-violent protesters and taking other actions that inhibit freedom of expression, and otherwise prevent Nigerians from fully exercising their fundamental constitutional rights.”

In the letter, Congress further condemned the illegal detention of activists and journalists like Omoyele Sowore, Jones Abiri and Kofi Bartels who are speaking out about politically sensitive problems like corruption and insecurity.

At some point, some of these activists have been greatly tortured, and yet nothing has been done to stop the crackdown.

It would be recalled that Omoyele Sowore, who was arrested on August 3 by the SSS for planning a protest popularised with the hashtag #RevolutionNow, was granted bail for the second time on October 18.

A previous bail granted the defendant on September 24 was not complied with by the SSS. He was facing trial on seven-count charge of treasonable felony, fraud, cyberstalking, and insulting President Buhari.

The Senator, therefore, urged the ambassador to ensure that the rights and liberties contained in the constitution are duly observed for every citizen and to take action against the closing of media and civic space in the country.

“The right of the citizens must be respected without threats of government reprisal,” he said. (Vanguard)


Source: News Express

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