International Press Centre Condemns Arrest Of 4 Journalists Covering Protest In Lagos, Demands Release
The journalists are Ifeoluwa Adediran of Premium Times, Abiodun Ayeoba of Sahara Reporters, Awoniyi Oluwatosin of Objective Media, and Daniel Tanimu of Galaxy Television.
Protesters were marching in Lagos state against the deregistration of political parties and increase in fuel price and electricity tariff, when police officers swooped on them, arresting 14 of the protesters.
Four journalists, who were covering the protest, were also arrested and taken to the state police command in Ikeja.
IPC in a statement signed by Melody Akinjiyan, Program Officer/Safety Desk Officer, while demanding for the immediate release stated that the arrest was unlawful, decried the seizure and damage to their working tools.
The statement reads;
The International Press Centre, IPC, Lagos-Nigeria, hereby condemns the unlawful arrest of four journalists, Ifeoluwa Adediran of Premium Times, Abiodun Ayeoba of Sahara Reporters, Awoniyi Oluwatosin of Objective Media, and Daniel Tanimu of Galaxy Television early today, September 10, 2020, while covering a peaceful protest on the fuel price increase in Yaba, Lagos State.
Spokesperson for the organizers of the protest – the Socialist Party of Nigeria – Comrade Hassan Soweto, who was equally arrested, confirmed that, “The cameras and phones of the journalists were seized while they were taken to the Lagos State Police Command.
IPC disapproves of the harassment and brutalization of the journalists in the course of legitimate duty and particularly decries the seizure and damage to their working tools.
IPC demands the immediate and unconditional release of the journalists. The Police should also return their seized gadgets and pay compensation for the damaged ones.
IPC reiterates that the right to peacefully assemble and ventilate grievances over government policies is covered by the laws of the federation and should not be tampered with arbitrarily.