Coalition Condemns Arrest, Assault and Detention of Journalist in Abuja

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Ms Kasarachi Aniagolu, a reporter with The Whistler newspaper

The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF), of which Media Rights Agenda (MRA) is a member, has condemned an attack on Ms Kasarachi Aniagolu, a reporter with The Whistler newspaper, who was assaulted, arrested and briefly detained by men of the Nigerian Police Force on February 21, 2024. 

CWPPF noted that a press statement issued by The Whistler says she was arrested by officers of the Nigeria Police Force operating within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) while covering a raid on Bureau De Change operators in Wuse Zone 4 area of the FCT. 

The Coalition added that despite identifying herself as a journalist, Ms Aniagolu was manhandled, threatened and her equipment confiscated. She was taken into custody and held for several hours at the Anti-Violence Crime Unit (former SARS office) in Guzape.

Although Ms Aniagolu was released after being detained for more than eight hours, CWPPF pointed out that it is deeply troubled by the circumstances of her arrest, harassment, and unlawful detention.

The Coalition emphasized that journalists have a constitutional right to carry out their work without fear of harassment, intimidation, or arrest, and this must be respected.

It called on the Nigerian Police force to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the arrest and detention of Ms Aniagolu and ensure that those responsible for violating her fundamental human rights and press freedom are brought to book.  CWPPF also joined The Whistler newspaper to demand an apology from the Nigerian Police Force while also calling for the protection of journalists in the course of performing their lawful duties.