Nigeria journalist Oga Tom Uhia detained for weeks on defamation complaint

Authorities in Nigeria should immediately release Oga Tom Uhia, the publisher of local monthly magazine Power Steering, which covers the electrical power sector, and drop all charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On October 13, police arrested Uhia at his residence in Gwarimpa, a suburb of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, without a warrant and took him to the Force Criminal Investigation Department, according to Uhia’s lawyer, Evans Odeh, who spoke with CPJ via phone, and independent news website Forefront.  There, authorities questioned him about a complaint filed with police by Minister of…Read more

Ghana journalist David Tamakloe arrested on false news charge

Authorities in Ghana should immediately drop all charges against journalist David Tamakloe and halt intimidation of journalists, says the Committee to Protect Journalists. On October 7, at around 5:30 pm, a group of plain-clothed police officers arrested Tamakloe, the editor in chief of the privately owned Whatsup News website, on the street near his office in Ghana’s capital, Accra, for a July 8 report that allegedly violated Ghana’s criminal code, according to Tamakloe who spoke by phone with CPJ. The July 8 report, which CPJ reviewed, alleged a pre-election crisis in the Ashanti region. Tamakloe,…Read more

Nigerian journalist held under cybercrime act for COVID-19 coverage

Nigerian authorities should immediately release journalist Saint Meinpamo Onitsha, drop all charges against him, and reform the country’s cybercrime act to ensure it is not used to prosecute the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 4, officers with Nigeria’s Department of State Services detained Onitsha, founder of the privately owned Naija Live TVnews website, in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa state, after he responded to a summons for questioning, his lawyers told CPJ by phone and messaging app. Onitsha told CPJ on June 3 that he received the summons, and…Read more

Bangladeshi journalist held in Jordan without lawyer since April

Jordanian authorities should immediately release Bangladeshi journalist Selim Akash and drop any charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On April 14, three men in plainclothes arrested Akash, a reporter for the Bangladeshi satellite broadcaster BanglaTV and news website Jago News, in front of his house in Amman, according to a report by Jago News and a member of the journalist’s family who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal. The family member said the men did not identify themselves, did not state a reason for the arrest, and did…Read more

Nigerian journalist Kufre Carter detained for 1 month, charged with defamation and conspiracy

Nigerian authorities should drop all charges against journalist Kufre Carter and ensure that the press is not harassed by the country’s security forces, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On April 27, in the southern city of Uyo, officers with Nigeria’s Department of State Services arrested Carter, a presenter with the privately owned XL 106.9 FM radio station, when he responded to a summons issued the day before, according to Inibehe Effiong, Carter’s lawyer, who spoke to CPJ by phone and messaging app, and reports by the privately owned First Reports and Premium Times news websites.…Read more

UK: Adjournment of Julian Assange’s US extradition hearing considered amidst coronavirus concerns

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team has requested adjournment of his US extradition hearing to allow for adequate preparation of his defence, amidst concerns for his health as COVID-19 reportedly spreads at Belmarsh prison. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates the need for Assange’s immediate release before his health is further jeopardised, and calls for the extradition hearing to be postponed until lockdown conditions are lifted. District judge Vanessa Baraitser presided, and was joined in the courtroom by legal counsel. Assange was expected to attend via videolink, but he did not take part, and…Read more

Tanzanian reporter finally freed after seven months

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes Tanzanian journalist Erick Kabendera’s release today after nearly seven months in prison but regrets that he had to plead guilty to charges of money-laundering and tax evasion to be freed. The high price exacted by the authorities is indicative of the steady decline in press freedom in Tanzania, RSF said. A stringer for such renowned media outlets as The Guardian and The East African, Kabendera was arrested on 29 July 2019 on suspicion of having obtained his Tanzanian citizenship fraudulently. Thereafter, the charges against him kept on being changed in a series of…Read more