Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) – The Accra-based sub-regional rights body, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Tuesday condemned the attack on four journalists by officers drawn from the Nigerien Police Service.
In a statement signed by the body's Executive Director, Prof. Kwame Karikari, MFWA disclosed that the journalists who were from privately-owned media organisations were physically attacked while covering a protest march.
The four - Souleymane Ousman, Issaka Lawali, Hadiza Amadou and Nassa Seydou - from various private media houses in Niger were said to have been attacked when the police violently disrupted a peace march organised by members of the Educational Unions’ Permanent Consultation and Action Framework (CPRASE) on 15 February.
'MFWA joins the media professional groups in Niger to strongly denounce this barbaric act which connotes a clear violation of media freedom and citizens’ rights to peacefully demonstrate,' the statement said, adding 'MFWA calls on the government and the police authorities to investigate this incident and bring the perpetrators to book.'
According to the sub-regional rights body, Nigerien police officers chased out the journalists, tear gassed them and beat them up before seizing their cameras.
Meanwhile, it was further revealed that the attack left some members of the CPRASE with varying degrees of injuries while others were arrested and detained for hours.