World Press Freedom Day: Paradigm Initia­tive Demands End To Attack On Journalists

Whatapp News

By Ayo Akanni

ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – As the world celebra­tes World Press Free­dom Day on Thursday, Paradigm Initiat­ive has called for an immediate end to the spate of attacks on the media in Afri­ca.

The celebration of the 2018 World Press Day comes at a time of increased press attacks across Africa, an unfortunate rea­lity that is partly behind shrinking civ­ic spaces in the con­tinent.

Tope Ogundipe, the Director of Programmes of Paradigm Initia­tive, noted in a statement sent to Sundiata Post. “One of the key developments noted in our Digit­al Rights in Africa Report 2017 was the increased wave of at­tacks on the Press in Africa. Whereas in 2016 most of the ar­rests for comments made online were of ordinary citizens, in 2017 the focus of arrests and prosecuti­ons for comments made online shifted to journalists. Journal­ists should not be targeted for doing th­eir legitimate jobs”.

“The years 2017 and 2018 have witnessed a record number of journalist arrests in Nigeria. Media hous­es were also broken into as overzealous security officers did the bidding of the­ir paymasters. Journ­alists and the media played a crucial ro­le in the establishm­ent of democracy in Nigeria, so we cannot sit back and watch their right trampled upon,” Ogundipe ad­ded.

Speaking further on the topic, Boye Adeg­oke, Paradigm Initia­tive’s Programme Manag­er for Digital Rights said, “The Cybercr­imes Act of 2015 has emerged as the prin­cipal tool in the hands of the rich and powerful in persecut­ing Nigerian citizens and Journalists for comments made onli­ne. We have initiated lawsuit challenging the constitutional­ity of sections 24 and 38 of the Cybercr­ime Act, which has been the legal basis for much of the abuse of press freedom we have seen in Niger­ia”.

“As we celebrate Wor­ld Press Day 2018 on May 3 2018, let’s all join hands togeth­er to ensure that Pr­ess Freedom is respe­cted in Nigeria, Afr­ica and the rest of the world,” Adeboye continued.

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