21 February 2013

Nigeria: SSS Denied Us Access to Arrested Editor - Al Mizan Management

Kaduna — The management of Al Mizan newspaper in Kaduna yesterday said the State Security Service (SSS) in connivance with the Joint Task Force (JTF) refused to allow access or contact with the re-arrested editor of the paper, Musa Muhammad Awwal.

Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, in a statement said all efforts to reach the editor have proved abortive. Muhammad Awwal was whisked away from his residence in the early hours of Thursday February 14, 2013.

"As a result of their refusal to allow access to him, signals of fear and suspicion have been founded. The security operatives, who have gone beyond the law to arrest him in an extra-judicial manner, have also refused to mention any reason for intimidating the journalist.

"With the flagrant disregard for civility and human rights by the security operatives and the frequent reports of violation of law and order, where security operatives are accused of extra-judicial practices, the life and safety of Musa Muhammad Awwal has become a source of concern to us. With his wife, children, relations, friends and well-wishers left in suspense and worry, the arrest of Musa Muhammad Awwal is a clear display of intimidation and lack of fairness to all and sundry. This is also an outright violation of the tenets of democracy and abuse of his fundamental human rights," he said.

He said they would not relent in their efforts to adopt all legally accepted methods in bringing an end to what he called the continued intimidation of Al Mizan newspaper and its staff.

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