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Journalists experience ‘alarming’ rate of rights violation- Olorunyomi

A cross-section of Journalists

Over 45 Journalists have experienced various forms of attack such as harassment, physical battery and infringements on rights within the first quarter of 2023.

The Executive Director of Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism Dapo Olorunyomi stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during a presentation at a Two-Day workshop on the Impact of Safe Journalism and Gender Equality on Democratic Governance in Nigeria organized by the Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO.

Mr Olorunyomi said the attack on journalists marked an alarming increase that surpasses the total records for the whole of 2022 where 37 cases were recorded.

Mr Olorunyomi explained that in the digital age, the problems had taken new dimension such as online disinformation, hate speech, surveillance and harassment against journalists particularly women.

He said attack against journalists was an act of violence against an individual that leads to violation of society’s right to seek and receive information as recognized under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo said the workshop was to enhance the capacity of journalists on how to stay safe while on duty; especially in a conflict-ridden environment.

He said the workshop also aims to create public awareness about the gender imbalance in journalism as a profession and encourage the participation of more women; to reappraise strategies for the media to promote good governance; and sensitise the public on the importance of safe media and good governance.

The Representative of the Officer in Charge UNESCO Office Abuja Nuhu Yachat said UNESCO would continue to ensure the safety of journalists, strengthen their capacities and support their role in protecting freedom of expression, access to information.

Reporting by Daniel Adejo; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade