International human rights group, Amnesty International, has asked the Federal Government to protect the right to freedom of expression especially for the press in Nigeria.
In a statement, the group condemned what it described as a growing intolerance of press freedom, which it says manifests in the arrest of journalists and intimidation of bloggers, as well as excessive use of force in cracking down on peaceful protests by Nigerians.
It said that these actions violate the International Human Rights Law, as well as the Nigerian constitution.
“These recent draconian trends are sending the wrong signal and force journalists to live in perpetual fear for daring to investigate and report on issues of major public interest. In a human-rights respecting society, no one should have the power to harass and intimidate individuals for expressing an opinion.”
The organisation also criticised the practice by government institutions and officials of frustrating journalists, sometimes with threats, for investigating stories even under the freedom of information act.
Amnesty International therefore called on the Nigerian government to take urgent and concrete steps to assure Nigerians that the country is not slipping into a media clampdown.