Premium Times (Abuja)

16 February 2013

Nigeria: CPJ Demands Release of Al-Mizan Reporter, Awwal

The U.S. based Committee for the Protection of Journalists, CPJ, has demanded the immediate release of a Nigerian journalist held by security operatives.

Musa Awwal, an editor at Al-Mizan weekly Hausa Newspaper was arrested on Thursday morning when armed men believed to be members of the State Security Service, SSS, raided his home.

Mr. Awwal and Aliyu Saleh, a reporter at the newspaper, were earlier arrested and detained for one week in December without charges.

Mr. Awwal said the SSS only questioned him on the whereabouts of the Editor-In-Chief of the newspaper, Ibrahim Musa. Mr. Musa went into hiding since December when his house was raided, also by security operatives.

The SSS is yet to state what the offence of the journalists are, though reports indicate that the SSS and military officials are not happy about a report carried by the Newspaper in December in which it accused the Joint Task Force of extra-judicial detentions.

The CPJ condemned the harassment of the journalist and the media house and demanded Mr. Awwal's release.

The arbitrary detention of Musa Muhammad Awwal highlights the very problem Al-Mizan exposed," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator, Mohamed Keita. "These violations of due process undermine public confidence in the rule of law. Awwal should be released immediately."

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