The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria has said there should be urgent investigation of all suspected cases of murder and attacks on journalists and diligent prosecution of the alleged perpetrators so as to halt the disturbing trend of impunity for crimes against journalists in Nigeria.
IPC made the call for justice today as journalists, other media professionals and freedom of expression groups mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
IPC said it was unfortunate that Nigeria continues to rank high among countries where press freedom and freedom of expression are under threat stating that the recent database of attacks during the #ENDSARS protest reveals that not less than ten incidents of assault, invasion and brutalization were recorded.
The Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said these were worrisome and unwelcome developments deserving the attention of all stakeholders in the media.
“We are calling for an end to impunity for crimes against journalists in Nigeria. We attach the highest priority to the safety of journalists and other media actors.
“We oppose any action, legislation, regulation or political pressure that limits freedom of the press. Acts of intimidation and violence against journalists in Nigeria have to end for democracy to survive.
“Attacks against media institutions and journalists are attacks against democratic rights including the right of the public to know the truth about the way they are governed,” Mr. Arogundade stressed.
IPC also demanded justice for journalists who have been murdered and attacked in the line of duty including the murder of Dele Giwa in October 19, 1986 amongst others.
Mr. Arogundade called on the Police authorities to carry out the necessary investigations on these unresolved murder cases or in the alternative publicly disclose what has been done so far towards unraveling the mystery behind the killings.
He also said while the Government is expected to create the enabling environment for journalists to practice without fear, journalists and other media professionals should themselves pay greater attention to their personal safety by keeping abreast with various safety tips for journalists covering dangerous assignments.