CSW - everyone free to believe

Luka Binniyat


Freedom of Expression, Press Freedom, and Due Process - Briefing January 2022

24 Jan 2022

Briefing prepared for UK parliamentarians in January 2022

Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution (1999) stipulates that “the press, radio, television and other agencies of mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.”

However, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which had availed itself of social media extremely effectively, and without facing official restrictions, in the run up to its electoral victory embarked almost immediately on efforts to control the media. Consequently, since 2016 Nigeria has experienced a progressive squeezing of civil society space characterised, amongst other things, by mounting suppression of the freedoms of expression and the press. A July 2021 study of press freedom since 2016 uncovered 300 violations affecting around 500 journalists, media workers, and media houses, and the deaths of eight journalists, for which no one has been held accountable.

Nigeria now ranks 120th out of the 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) World Press Freedom Index, with frequent restrictions on the freedoms of expression and the press designed to offset accountability or criticism - no matter how mild. Bloggers, online and print journalists and human rights defenders who question state or federal governments or espouse differing views, have been targeted, harassed, forcibly disappeared, detained arbitrarily, and in some instances, assaulted by security operatives seemingly at the bidding, or with the tacit agreement, of state or federal authorities. 

Click here to download the full briefing as a PDF.



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We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs