FOLLOWING the incessant killing and imprisoning of journalists across the world for attempting to report facts, some media practitioners in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have called for absolute protection of Journalists in the line of duty. They stated this yesterday during the celebration of the International Day against Brutality of Journalists. Speaking during a press briefing, the Co-Founder of Campaign Against Brutality and for Safety of Journalists in Africa, CABSOJA, Desmond Utomwen said, “every year, dozens of journalists are either murdered or imprisoned across the world for attempting to report facts. These happen as authorities and interested parties seek to silence and retaliate against critical voices. “ According to him, Nigeria is listed amongst the 14 countries cited by the Committee on the Protection of Journalists, CPJ, on “Prison Census” where at least 10 journalists have been murdered in the line of duty since 1992. He added that the CPJ’s Impunity Index Report released in 2015 listed Nigeria among the 14 countries that met the index criteria. “With five murders without a single perpetrator being convicted, Nigeria held a place on CPJ’s Impunity Index for the third year in a row. At least two journalists have been killed by individuals affiliated with Boko Haram, according to CPJ research, while others, like prominent news editor, Bayo Ohu, were killed in connection with their reporting on local politics,”he explained. “Bearing in mind that impunity for attacks against journalists constitutes one of the main challenges to strengthening the protection of journalists, and recalling in this regard that journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians and shall be respected and protected as such, provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians.” For his part, the Public Affairs Officer for the British High Commission, Joseph Abuku said there is need for journalists to do their jobs unharassed and protected .He also admonished that there is need for the strengthening of the institutional framework for journalists in the country.

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