The International Press Center, IPC, Lagos condemns in strong terms the arrest and molestation of journalists by security agents during the #RevolutionNow protests in some Nigerian cities on Monday, August 5, 2019.
In Calabar, according to Premium Times dated August 5, 2019, the police accused journalists of being members of the #RevolutionNow movement and took them into custody after brutalising them.
The concerned journalists – Nicholas Kalu of The Nation, Jeremiah Achibong of CrossRiverWatch and Jonathan Ugbal of CrossRiverWatch – were arrested and detained before they were released late Monday evening.
Similarly, in Lagos, reports by Daily Trust Newspaper and Sahara reporters dated August 6, indicated that Victor Ode Video Editor and cameraman, alongside eight other protesters were manhandled and whisked into the waiting Black Marias of the taskforce. The detainees were first held at Area C police station before they were transferred to the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department Panti, Lagos.
In a statement, Lanre Arogundade, Director, IPC said that journalists have constitutional obligation to report issues of interest to the public and should not be barred or harassed in the course of such reportorial duties
Mr Arogundade asserted that security operatives should respect International best practices when addressing the security challenges of the country as the media constitute one of the strong institutions in our democracy
IPC therefore demands the immediate release of Victor Ogungbenro as continuous detention represents repression and violation of press freedom