We Support Press Freedom

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In Nigeria, the civic space continues to shrink. Clear examples of this are the consistent attacks on freedom of information and expression as well as media freedom, which are all constituent parts of a country’s civic space. Since 2015, attacks on journalists and media activists have continued unabated. Between January and September 2019, at least 19 journalists and media practitioners have suffered attacks. These attacks take the form of verbal and physical assault, intimidations, seizure of equipment, imprisonment, as well as indiscriminate arrest and detention by Nigerian authorities. These violations are mostly perpetrated by Nigeria’s security forces and they occur when journalists and media practitioners seek access to information, share information or express critical views that could drive public opinion.

Journalists play a vital role in society as a watchdog, revealing crucial information that contributes to holding the government accountable. But they also face immense challenges in the performance of their duty. Oftentimes, dissenting views expressed by media practitioners are criminalised, particularly when they revolve around sensitive issues. Also, the stifling of freedom of expression for these groups occurs in circumstances where journalists are pressured to disclose their sources of information. Many journalists also came under attack while reporting the 2019 General Elections across Nigeria.
The challenges of press freedom is not different in Nigeria as we have witnessed in recent times, an attempt to control the media space, trumped up charges against journalists, enforced disappearances, torture, imprisonment, beating, sizure of media equipments and in some cases deaths. This documentary film screening event provides young people, media practitioners, journalists, labour unions and the government the opportunity to take action and discuss the need for press freedom in Nigeria as a way of accountability .

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