SERAP strongly condemns the apparent use of excessive and unlawful force by Police against journalists covering protests by members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), [Shiites] on Monday in Abuja.
According to reports, a Channels Television Reporter was hit by a stray bullet as he covered the protests. We urge the Nigerian authorities to immediately investigate the use of unlawful force against journalists, identify those responsible and promptly bring them to justice.
The Nigerian authorities must ensure immediate access to adequate medical treatment and support for the channelstv journalist and others injured. The Inspector General of Police should publicly apologise for this troubling incident.
It is extremely troubling when journalists covering protests can be shot in broad daylight. The use of live ammunition by the Nigeria Police would only be lawful if their targets pose an imminent threat to the life of or of injury to the law enforcement agents or third parties.
Even if protesters have engaged in acts of violence and vandalism, there is no justification whatsoever for the use of live ammunition on journalists and protesters.
Any protesters who engaged in violence or vandalism should be held accountable, but under no circumstances is it acceptable or lawful to shoot at journalists and people who are unarmed.:- *SERAP*
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