MRA to host litigation workshop for lawyers on safety of journalists

THE Media Rights Agenda (MRA) will host a two-day litigation workshop for lawyers on the safety of journalists from 14th and 15th of April, 2021.

The workshop, which will take place in Abuja, is designed to enhance the capacity of lawyers to litigate cases on behalf of journalists and media organisations facing threats as result of their job.

It is supported by the Global Media Defence Fund (GMDF) through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and will bring together 30 participants drawn from different states across Nigeria.

A statement issued in Lagos by Head of MRA’s Legal Department Chioma Nwaodike said the workshop was aimed at ensuring accountability for attacks on journalists and the media in Nigeria, thereby combating the culture of impunity for such attacks.

“We are bringing together lawyers from different parts of the country who have agreed to provide pro bono legal assistance and litigation support to journalists whose rights are threatened or violated as part of an effort to provide a safe environment for media workers to effectively carry out their professional duties.”



    According to her, “a situation where journalists and other media workers are killed, brutalized, tortured or visited with other forms of violence and the government takes no serious action to investigate such attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice is unacceptable. We are bringing together legal minds from across the country to discuss and agree on strategies for more aggressive intervention, using the legal system and the judicial process to ensure the safety of journalists and to protect their rights.”

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    Nwaodike explained that the workshop would provide participating lawyers with the opportunity of identifying and familiarising themselves with national, regional and international instruments and mechanisms that could be deployed to ensure safety of journalists in Nigeria.

    She said the workshop was also intended to examine the most effective approaches in conducting strategic litigation to challenge laws as well as institutional and administrative practices impeding media freedom, contrary to the constitution or regional and international instruments to which Nigeria is a party to.

    She further noted that participants at the workshop would consist of seasoned lawyers from different parts of Nigeria who had volunteered to offer their services free of charge in the defense of journalists and media organisations in Nigeria whose rights are threatened or infringed upon.

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