Release Journalists Detained for Covering Presidential Election


Target: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

Goal: Release journalists detained for covering Nigeria’s upcoming presidential election without the required protection and accreditation.

Two journalists are being held by the Nigerian military for covering the upcoming presidential election without the necessary protection and accreditation. The journalists, Ahmed Idris and Ali Mustafa, are being detained in their hotel rooms and questioned by the military.

As Al Jazeera has already vouched for the accreditation that these two journalists obtained prior to operating, they should be released and allowed to commence their coverage. According to Al Jazeera they were filming a video on the war between Boko Haram and the Nigerian military before they began covering the upcoming presidential elections. Peter Nkanga, a representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), released a statement saying “Nigerian authorities and the military should understand that the credibility of the election is dependent in large part on the media, both local and foreign, being allowed to report freely.” Both the CPJ and Al Jazeera are asking the military to release these reporters.

As mentioned by the representative for the CPJ, it is imperative that the upcoming election is covered by media organizations from around the world as past elections have caused unrest and bouts of conflict. This is likely the reason the journalists were keeping an eye on events surrounding the election aside from their coverage of the ongoing violence involving Boko Haram. Without any regard to the particular story they are covering, they should be given the freedom to investigate and report.

Sign the petition below to demand that these journalists are released immediately and allowed to continue informing the public.


Dear President Goodluck Jonathan,

Two journalists are being held without sufficient reason in Nigeria. The military has made accusations about them that they simply cannot prove, including a claim that they were loitering in several different locations. They are respected members of the media and they should be able to cover the events taking place in the country without interruption. This includes reporting on the ongoing conflict between the Nigerian military and Islamist terror group Boko Haram. Both journalists have been reporting on Nigeria for many years and haven’t had any problems until now.

The people of Nigeria and others worldwide deserve to be informed and aware of what is happening in Nigeria, and these journalists have the responsibility of informing the public. Without media involvement Nigeria will likely break out in violence that will go unreported after the presidential election.

I urge you to release these journalists and allow them to continue their work.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Sherwood via Flickr

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