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UK seeks legislation to protect Nigerian journalists from harassment, attacks

UNITED Kingdom (UK) government has called for strengthening of necessary legal frameworks to allow journalists in Nigeria do their work without harassment.

The UK government said it wanted Nigerian media to be independent as obtained in the UK, reaffirming its belief in free press.

‎Speaking at a campaign against brutality of journalists organised by the Campaign Against Brutality and for Safety of journalists in Africa in Abuja, representative of the UK High Commission in Nigeria and public affairs officer at the commission, Joseph Abuku, described fighting for media practitioners as a worthy cause.

He said that the UK prides itself of operating democratic system with vibrant and free media that operated on its own.

Abuku doubted if there was legal framework in place to protect brutality against journalists in Nigeria.

According to him, there was need to pay attention to areas where journalists faced risks and work towards their protection.

Also speaking, founder of the organisation, Desmond Utomwen, said there was need to end killings and brutality of journalists‎.

He said the group sought to protect safe work environment for media practitioners.

According to him, the organisation would take up legal actions on behalf of any journalist that suffered assaults.

He urged government to ensure justice for any journalist that suffered violence in the line of duty.

Earlier, the co-founder of the group, Ugo Ezekiel urged the National Assembly to enact a law that would criminalise attacks on journalists.

He, however, urged journalists to exhibit fairness and balance in their reportage.