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Nigeria: source protection is weak but solidarity proved strong

The police detained Samuel Ogundipe – a reporter with the Premium Times newspaper – and froze his bank account frozen to force him to reveal the source of information for an article he had written. Encouragingly, citizen solidarity was strong; people took to the streets and marched to the police headquarters, not even deterred by the police firing teargas canisters.[1] Ogundipe was released on bail two days later.

The secret police agency (the ‘Department of State Services’) similarly held Tony Ezimakor for seven days to pressure him to disclose his source or retract his story, which alleged that the government paid Boko Haram to release the schoolgirls they held.[2]

 

 

[1] Media Rights Agenda, Police Detain Premium Times Reporter, Freeze His Bank Account, 16 August 2018, available at http://mediarightsagenda.net/web/police-arrest-and-detain-reporter-freeze-bank-account/

[2] Media Foundation for West Africa, MFWA Condemns Brutal Attack on Journalist, 28 May 2018, available at http://www.mfwa.org/issues-in-focus/mfwa-condemns-brutal-attack-on-journalist/

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