By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
A non-governmental organization, NGO, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on the Nigeria Police to stop harassing Premium Times journalists.
An operative of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) allegedly assaulted the Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, Mr. Musikilu Mojeed yesterday, while another journalist working for the same media house, Mr. Samuel Ogundipe, was also detained same day.
The NGO, in a statement yesterday by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, strongly condemned any attempt to coerce journalists performing their legitimate duties.
The MURIC statement reads, “We strongly condemn any attempt to coerce journalists performing their legitimate duties. The police know the rules.
“The Fourth Estate of the Realm deserves a conducive atmosphere to carry out its daily routine of informing and educating the people about government’s activities.
“The impression must not be created that we are in a police state. A Gestapo-style intimidation of journalists stifles freedom of expression.
“The police can still carry out its duties in a professional manner without curtailing freedom of movement and without undermining freedom of speech. Democracy comes under threat when reporters work in an atmosphere of siege.
“We therefore demand the immediate release of Samuel Ogundipe and an apology for the manhandling of the Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times”, the organisation declared.