#ENDSARS protest: IPC condemns police attack on journalist

This statement was originally published on IPC’s Facebook page on 11 October 2020.

The International Press Centre, IPC, Lagos-Nigeria condemns the unwarranted assault and attack by officers of the Nigeria police on Francis Ogbonna, a cameraman with Arise Television, today, Sunday, October 11, 2020, in Abuja.  According to reports, the police attacked and brutalized Ogbonna while he was interviewing protesters on an #EndSARS rally in Abuja. [Ed note: SARS refers to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a subunit of the police force].

A video recording by the victim and his colleague, Ferdinard Duruoha, reveals that Ogbonna was attacked by police officers who beat him and in the process inflicted him with an injury, resulting in blood gushing out of his head. The police officers also damaged his camera.

IPC Executive Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said, “We condemn the uncalled for attack on the journalist while [he was] carrying out his legitimate duty of covering a protest.”

IPC is immediately calling on the Inspector General of Police for his intervention in this incident and many others perpetrated by police officers. He should ensure that the culprit is punished in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Arogundade also enjoined the Inspector General of Police on the need to educate police officers in the field to create a safe environment for media professionals to carry out their duties.

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Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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