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In a press release this evening in Cape Town, South Africa, the Protection Rights of Journalist of Africa (PRJA) have condemn the arrest of two Nigerian journalists in the city of Kaduna by the men of the State Security Service (SSS) for alleged publication that exposes the excesses and impunity of the men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in  Potiskum and Damaturu towns of Yobe State.

The press release was signed by the president of PRJA Mr. Adamu Abubakar Gwarzo and called for the immediate and unconditional release of the two journalists that are writing for a popular Hausa newspaper called Al-Mizan. Mr. Gwarzo said PRJA is disappointed and concerned with the development. He said the recent arrest is coming at a time Nigeria’s human rights record regarding freedom for journalists have improved over the years despite on many occasions the infringement of the rights of journalists on the orders of political authorities.


 “If they have anything against the paper or the editor the proper thing to do is to go to court to challenge what was published. We condemn the brutality meted on our fellow colleagues Musa Mohammed Awwal and Aliyu Saleh. The manner they were arrested and how their families were subjected to inhuman treatment is an indictment on the government of Nigeria and her repeated resolved to protect the rights of journalists. The constitution of Nigeria is very clear on such violations and what the law requires. It is illegal to detain them above the stipulated 24 hours without taking them to court.

If the SSS truly have evidence against them and what the paper reports, the lawful way is to refer the matter to court without waste of time and grant them bail without further delay. It is common knowledge that credible international organisations like the Amnesty International have equally reveal gross human rights violations by members of the JTF in their fight against the Boko Haram insurgency. To our knowledge at PRJA, substantial evidences of gross human rights violations were given and published by Amnesty International even before the Al-Mizan story was published.

We call on Mr. Goodluck Jonathan to call the SSS and the Police to order and to resist their overzealous attitude that will further harm whatever progress his government recorded in the area of protecting the rights of journalists across the country".