23 January 2013

Nigeria: In Nigeria, Soldiers Attack Journalist Covering Demolition

press release

Two Soldiers Beat Laolu Harolds — Two soldiers beat Laolu Harolds, assistant editor of the daily Nigerian Tribune, on January 8, 2013, while he attempted to take pictures of soldiers demolishing local shops in Oyo state, according to news reports. The soldiers were affiliated with the government's demolition task force team, the reports said.

The Nigerian Tribune reported that the soldiers confiscated Harolds' digital camera, slapped him several times, and repeatedly beat him on the head with a whip. Harolds was hospitalized for injuries to his head and neck, the reports said.

Local press freedom and human rights condemned the assault and called on the military to identify and prosecute Harolds' attackers, news reports said.

Festus Adedayo, media adviser of the governor, told the local press that the soldiers had "thought [Harolds] was a hoodlum hired by the displaced shop owners," news reports said. Adedayo said the government would investigate the attack.

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