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Nigeria: Justice Minister Misrepresents CPJ Research On Attacks On Journalists – CPJ

New York — CPJ’s research on press freedom in Nigeria, showing years of attacks on members of the press–including killings–strongly contradicts comments by Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami…

New York, April 28, 2023–Nigerian authorities should revise recent statements falsely characterizing CPJ’s research on the press freedom situation in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday.

On Thursday, April 27, the state-run News Agency of Nigeria reported that Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami described CPJ’s research in a meeting the previous day as finding “Nigeria as the only African country that has been in full compliance in terms of the protection of the rights of the journalists.”

That report quoted Malami as saying that no journalists had been killed in the country “arising from infractions, relating thereto.”

CPJ research has for years documented a steady stream of attacks, prosecutions, and harassment of journalists in Nigeria, including for publishing alleged “false news.” CPJ research shows at least 24 journalists have been killed in Nigeria since 1992. At least 12 of these journalists are confirmed to have been killed in connection with their work.

“CPJ’s research on press freedom in Nigeria, showing years of attacks on members of the press–including killings–strongly contradicts comments by Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami about the press freedom situation in the country,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator. “Malami’s misrepresentation of CPJ research is particularly alarming and tragically ironic given how frequently Nigerian journalists are accused and prosecuted for distributing alleged falsehoods.”

Malami gave his remarks at a briefing to promote the Nigerian government’s human rights agenda, which was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.