How Federal and State Authorities are Tightening the Screws on Media Freedom in Nigeria – SERAP

SERAP is a non-profit, nonpartisan, legal and advocacy organization devoted to promoting transparency, accountability and respect for socio-economic rights in Nigeria. SERAP received the Wole Soyinka Anti-Corruption Defender Award in 2014. It has also been nominated for the UN Civil Society Award and Ford Foundation’s Jubilee Transparency Award. SERAP serves as one of two Sub-Saharan African civil society representatives on the governing Committee of the UNCAC Coalition, a global anti-corruption network of over 380 civil society organizations (CSOs) in over 100 countries.

The report documents the increasing cases of harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detention and deaths of journalists, bloggers and other media workers while carrying out their legitimate work. The report also details how state governors are using their powers to attack media freedom within their states and to silence journalists, bloggers and other media workers. It documents issues of hate speech, fake news, suppression of media freedom by other ex-judicial means, and criminal contempt and highlights what might be done to address the problems.

The report makes several recommendations to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari; the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice; the Minister of Information; the National Assembly; the National Human Rights Commission; the 36 state governors of Nigeria; the Nigerian Guild of Editors and Nigerian Union of Journalists; as well as recommendations to the United Nations human rights mechanisms; the African Union, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to push for the full and effective respect for the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and media freedom in Nigeria.

The ultimate aim is to use the Report’s recommendations to promote freedom of expression and media freedom in Nigeria, ensure journalists are free from intimidation and harassment and to encourage more reports on corruption issues by journalists and active citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption.

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