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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Media Organization To Provide Free Legal Assistance For Journalists Who Are Being Threatened

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Justina Asishana
Justina Asishana
Justina Asishana is a Nigerian from Edo state. She is a data and investigative journalist who also fact-checks. She covers health, agriculture, education and governance

NIGERIA: The Media Rights Agenda in Nigeria has disclosed plans to provide free legal assistance and litigation support to journalists in Nigeria whose rights are threatened or violated.

Just as the Organization warned that those who unjustifiably threaten or undermine the security, freedom and wellbeing of media professionals in Nigeria should expect to face legal charges.

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The Organization who announced the launch of its project to fight against impunity for attacks against journalists, stated that the project will ensure safe and conducive environment for journalism practice in Nigeria.

The Head of MRA’s Legal Department, Ms Chioma Nwaodike who announced the take-off of the project in a press statement said the organization is excited to implement the project. 

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She stated that it would go a long way in enabling journalists in Nigeria to carry out their primary duties of educating and enlightening the society adding that they can also uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people, as required by the Constitution without being threatened. 

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About the Project 

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The project is supported by the Global Media Defence Fund (GMDF) through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

 It is positioned to undertake strategic litigation to challenge any obstacle to the goal of journalists filing their legitimate duties. 

 Nwaodike said the project would be supported by a network of seasoned and committed lawyers across Nigeria.

The lawyers, according to the Legal Head, have agreed to deploy their knowledge, legal expertise and experience on behalf of journalists and media organizations in Nigeria free of charge in the event that their rights are violated or threatened or where their safety or security is in jeopardy.

“We will explore all available legal mechanisms and instruments at national, regional and international levels as well as the protections and remedies that they offer.

“In every case we undertake on behalf of media victims of attacks, we will bring the full weight of the relevant instruments and mechanisms to bear on the perpetrators, regardless of whether they are government officials, law enforcement and security agents, or non-state actors”, she said

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