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International Press Institute Condemns Invasion of Daily Trust

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International Press Institute Condemns Invasion of Daily Trust The International Press Institute (IPI) has condemned the invasion of the premises of Daily Trust by armed soldiers. It said it was regrettable that media freedom is under attack in Nigeria. It said the raid of the newspaper and the arrest of two journalists were “inappropriate, disproportionate and appear to constitute an attempt to silence independent media in the country.” The IPI said there was no evidence to prove the story complained of would endanger military lives or the security of military operations. It asked the Federal Government to uphold the freedom and responsibility of any independent newspaper to inform readers of significant developments of public interest. IPI made its position known in a protest letter to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed. It demanded the release of the Regional Editor of the Daily Trust, Uthman Abubakar and reporter Ibrahim Sawab in Maiduguri and the return of the computers taken from the newspaper’s offices. The organisation said: “The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and journalists, is extremely concerned over the actions of the Nigerian armed forces against the Daily Trust newspaper on Sunday, January 6, 2019. “The IPI network condemns the arrests of Daily Trust regional editor Uthman Abubakar and reporter Ibrahim Sawab in Maiduguri and the siege of the Daily Trust offices in Maiduguri and Abuja by the Nigerian Armed Forces. “According to our information, soldiers arrested the two journalists and then entered the offices of the newspaper in Maiduguri and Abuja, seizing a number of computers. “This is a clear attack on media freedom in a country which claims to uphold democratic principles.
“We understand that the Nigerian army has attempted to justify these actions by claiming that the Daily Trust’s publication of news about a planned operation by the armed forces in Borno region against Islamist militants had put the lives of army officials in danger and undermined national security. “However, the authorities have provided no evidence that the information published by the Daily Trust would endanger military lives or the security of military operations to an extent that would outweigh the freedom and responsibility of any independent newspaper to inform readers of significant developments of public interest, of which the Nigerian government’s response to the activities of terrorist organizations is undoubtedly one.” IPI said the raid of the newspaper and the arrest of two journalists were “inappropriate, disproportionate and appear to constitute an attempt to silence independent media in the country.”  
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