Journalists demand immediate release of Aljazeera reporters detained in Maiduguri

The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) is demanding the unconditional release of the two Aljazeera reporters held by the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri.

Major General-Chris Olukolade

The President, Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), Malam Mohammed Garba, on Thursday April 2, demanded the unconditional release of Aljazeera reporters, Idris Ahmed and Ali Almustapha, held in Maiduguri by the Nigerian Army.

Garba made the demand while addressing Journalists in Abuja.

He said that the recent restriction of Ahmed and Almustapha of Aljazeera Network in a Maiduguri Hotel by the Nigerian Army has heightened concerns for the safety of Journalists.

He said that the Federation is conscious of the fact that the responsibility of all Journalists in Africa is to monitor governance, adding that Journalists also hold governments accountable to the masses.

He said that with this situation, Journalists in Africa now live in fear of the unknown.

Furthermore, Garba noted that the Journalists have contributed towards the success in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

The FAJ president stressed the Federation's commitment to a coordinated action to ensure the safety and security of Journalists across Africa as enshrined in the November 2007 Abuja Declaration.

"Coordinating actions to improve the safety and security of Journalists and work with international agencies and other stakeholders to confront impunity and build a culture of safety in Journalists, we accordingly call on the Nigerian Military to release these Aljazeera staff unconditionally and without any delay," he said.

Garba said the Federation planned to hold a solidarity march at the Nigerian Embassies across Africa, demanding their release.

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