Lagos — Responding to the arrest and detention of Premium Times investigative reporter Samuel Ogundipe, Amnesty International’s Nigeria Director Osai Ojigho said:
“The Nigerian police must immediately and unconditionally release journalist Samuel Ogundipe, who has been in unlawful police detention since yesterday. Reports that police detained Samuel Ogundipe with the intention of forcing him to reveal his sources are extremely disturbing and illustrate the level of harassment and intimidation that Nigerian journalists face. The duty of journalists is not to please the authorities – it is to share information in the interest of the public, and forcing journalists to reveal their sources is illegal.
“The directive for the arrest of Samuel Ogundipe reportedly came directly from the Inspector General of Police. The Nigeria police should focus their attention on maintaining law and order, and allow journalists to perform their jobs free from fear of reprisals.
“The arrest of Samuel Ogundipe is part of a concerted crackdown on the Premium Times and its staff by Nigerian police. On Monday, police physically assaulted Editor in Chief Muskilu Mojeed and briefly detained reporter Azeezat Adedigba. We urge the Nigerian authorities to respect and ensure human rights and instruct their agencies to desist from harassing and intimidating Premium Times staff and other journalists and media organizations.”