There is the need to ensure accountability for attacks on Journalists and media in Nigeria, thereby combating the culture of impunity for such attacks.
This, according to the Head of Media Rights Agenda, MRA’s Legal Department, Ms Chioma Nwaodike is the aim of a two-day Workshop to enhance the capacity of Lawyers to litigate cases on behalf of journalists and media organizations that are threatened or under attack in an effort to combat impunity for such attacks against journalists.
Participants at the workshop, which will take place in Abuja, on April 14 and 15, 2021, are Lawyers from different parts of the country who have agreed to provide pro bono legal assistance and litigation support to Journalists whose rights are threatened or violated as part of an effort to provide a safe environment for media workers to effectively carry out their professional duties.
According to a statement issued in Lagos by Ms Nwaodike, on Monday, April 12, 2021, “a situation where journalists and other media workers are killed, brutalized, tortured or visited with other forms of violence and the government takes no serious action to investigate such attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice is unacceptable. We are bringing together legal minds from across the country to discuss and agree on strategies for more aggressive intervention, using the legal system and the judicial process to ensure the safety of journalists and to protect their rights.”
Ms Nwaodike explained that the workshop would provide participating lawyers with the opportunity of identifying and familiarizing themselves with national, regional and international instruments and mechanisms that can be deployed to ensure the safety of journalists in Nigeria.
She added that the workshop is also intended to examine the most effective approaches in conducting strategic litigation to challenge laws as well as institutional and administrative practices that impede media freedom, contrary to the Constitution or regional and international instruments to which Nigeria is a party, while also leveraging the protections and remedies that they offer.
Ms Nwaodike noted that participants at the workshop will consist of seasoned lawyers from different parts of Nigeria who have volunteered to offer their services free of charge in the defense of journalists and media organizations in Nigeria whose rights are threatened or infringed upon.