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NIGERIA/JOURANLISTSBack
[Published: Friday February 15 2013]

Nigerian journalists charged for criticizing polio campaign

New York , 15 Feb - (ANA) - Authorities in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano should drop the criminal charges against two radio journalists who have been detained since Sunday in connection with their criticism of local officials’ handling of a polio vaccination campaign, the Committee to Protect Journalists has said. Yabuku Musa Fagge, presenter for private broadcaster Wazobia FM, and Mubarak Muhamad Sani, a reporter for the same station, face charges including criminal conspiracy, abetment, defamation of character, obstruction of a public officer carrying out his duty, intentional insult, and incitement to violence, according to local journalists and news reports. The charges stem from a February 6 radio show in which Fagge accused local officials of abusing their power by allegedly forcing the public into immunizing children against polio, according to news reports and local journalists. Police allege that the broadcast led to a February 8 attack in which gunmen shot nine health care workers administering polio vaccines. Nigeria is one of only three countries, along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, still considered to have endemic polio, according to international news reports. Fagge and Sani denied the charges, Ibrahim Shuaibu, a local correspondent of leading daily ThisDay who witnessed the court hearing, told CPJ. The defendants have been remanded in police custody pending their appearance in court. (ANA)
FA/ANA/15 February 2013--------------

 

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