PTCIJ organises webinar on laws protecting press freedom

The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) is set to hold a webinar on global laws upholding the freedom of press and related challenges.

The webinar, which is expected to come up on August 27, will have in attendance, major press freedom fighters as speakers, activists and would be moderated by PREMIUM TIMES’ publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi.

The programme is themed “Exploring International and Regional Instruments for Upholding Press Freedom”.

Speakers expected to brainstorm are Oluwadare Kolawole, deputy director of Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Projects (SERAP); Muthoki Mumo, Sub-Saharan African Representative Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Osai Ojigho, Country Director, Amnesty International Nigeria.

Others are Leon Willems, Director Free Press Unlimited and Saba Ashraf – Senior Legal Officer, Media Legal Defence Initiative.

PREMIUM TIMES has reported numerous attacks on journalists and media houses in Nigeria and across the globe.

It recently examined a report that noted that attacks on the press and free speech in Nigeria had worsened in recent years.

Different Nigerian governments have also made attempts to suppress the press with media practitioners facing punishment for simply doing their jobs.

Mounting siege

Meanwhile, in a thesis published by Kemi Busari, a Nigerian journalist, he explained how a total of 148 attacks were recorded between June 2015 and May 2019 in Nigeria. Many journalists were also tried under the cybercrime act, he noted.

The paper said they were mostly charged with ‘cyberstalking’. The authorities also used criminal and penal codes for journalists they considered too ‘confrontational’.

In most cases, journalists spend months in prisons and this makes the future of journalism blurry, he noted.

Amidst all these, the Nigerian Union of Journalists and the Nigerian Guild of Editors have been accused of making little or no attempt to protect harassed practitioners.

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