Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Nigeria31 July 2003

Journalist freed after two days in prison

Ben Adaji, correspondent of the magazine The News, was freed on 24 July after two days in jail. He had been imprisoned after writing an article criticising local police for corruption. He is being sued for libel in another matter before a court in Jalingo.


29.07.2003

Journalist arrested after criticising police chief

Reporters Without Borders protested today against the detention of Ben Adaji, correspondent of the magazine The News in the eastern Nigerian state of Taraba, after criticising local police for corruption and abuses.

The press freedom organisation pointed out that press offences were civil matters under Nigerian law and under no circumstances could they be punished by detention or imprisonment. It called on Taraba state officials and national police inspector-general Tafa Balogun to see that he was freed immediately.

Working conditions for journalists are fairly good in the federal capital, Lagos, but they are quite dangerous in the rest of the country, with local governors regularly targeting journalists who criticise them. Media in northern Nigeria are most at risk.

Adaji has been held in prison in Jalingo (Taraba state) since July 22 without any official explanation, but his arrest appeared linked with an article he wrote headlined "Abacha in police uniform," which exposed corruption and abuse of prisoners’ rights by Taraba state police commissioner Nwachukwu Egbochukwu. Adaji was earlier briefly arrested on 29 May and accused of libel.



In this country
22 January - Nigeria
Investigation into journalist’s murder entrusted to judicial police
20 January - Nigeria
Journalist escapes attack on her home by armed men
28 November - Nigeria
Four journalists face trial over article suggesting President in poor health
18 November - Nigeria
Online journalist Emmanuel Emeka Asiwe freed after one week
4 November - Nigeria
Second online journalist arrested in one week

in the annual report
Nigeria - Annual Report 2008
Nigeria - Annual Report 2007
Nigeria - Annual report 2006

Africa press releases
3 June - Somalia
Alarm at TV station director’s abduction near Mogadishu
27 May - Gabon
Government imposes news blackout on President Bongo’s health
26 May - Somalia
Radio reporter shot by militia dies of injuries, fourth journalist to be killed this year

africa archives
archives

reports
18 March 2009 - Democratic Republic of Congo
“Bukavu, murder city”: investigation report into murders of journalists in the capital of Sud-Kivu
21 May 2008 - Eritrea
Naizghi Kiflu, the dictatorship’s eminence grise
6 March 2008 - Kenya
"How far to go ?" Kenya’s media caught in the turmoil of a failed election
archives

Sign the petitions
Eritrea
Sign the petition for the release of ten Eritrean journalists