Another Abuja based journalist, Amadin Uyi has been assaulted and openly threatened by the men of Nigeria Police yesterday at the #JusticeforJamal, a solidarity protest by a group of Nigerian Journalists to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia to get justice and unravel the mystery behind gruesome murder of Saudi-Turkish Journalist, Jamal Khasgoohi in Abuja.
Amadin, who is the Abuja Bureau Chief of Plus TV Africa was amongst the journalists at the protest was brutally assaulted by CSP Bunu Idris, who brazenly manhandled and openly threatened to deal with him thereby preventing him from efficiently carried out his journalistic assigment at the venue of the protest.
Narrating the gory details of the assault, Uyi said he was totally taken aback by awkward reactions of the men of the Nigeria Police to him while trying to capture the protest with his mobile phone, just by taking photographs and documenting the peaceful protest to express our solidarity for a resourceful journalist like Jamal Khasgoohi, who was murdered in cold blood in Istanbul, Turkey last week.
“The protest was almost ending, and as I was trying to establish shots of the security personnel that came to venue of the protest using my mobile phone to see if I could quickly send some rushes to my Lagos office”.
“The protest team were already on their way as Police officer saw me taking pictures he angrily walked up to me and said “Why are you taking the pictures of the security personnel?” “Don’t you know you need to seek permission before taken our pictures? ”
“And I said to him that I do not need any permission to do my job, as I was only doing my job as a journalist besides it’s a public protest” he said.
“Then what he did was to demand for my mobile phone device, which I refused to release to him. Next thing, he pushed me in my chest and rough handled my clothes”.
“Then I said to him, sir, ‘you are assalting me and he replied that he would do it and do it again, if I do not hand over my mobile phone”.
“Seeing this, our Protest team turned back, as they were already on their way, to intervene, asking why he was demanding for my phone and he pretended to be talking to another of his colleague, then I walked away for the scence” said Amadin.
Now, for how shall the journalists continue to suffer in the hands of Security operatives and agents in Nigeria and beyond?
Year in year out, journalists are gradual becoming endangered species across the world.
They are being brutalized, assaulted, maimed, tortured and murdered with impunity on daily basis.
They are subjected to all forms inhuman treatment simply because they have decided to work as the watchdogs for the society they live in.
These among other challenges facing journalism proffession in Nigeria and across the globe must be squarely confronted and addressed as a matter of urgency by the relevant authorities.