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Back Activities Alerts ACTION ALERT: Nigeria – Demand end to harassment of Al-Mizan newspaper staff

ACTION ALERT: Nigeria – Demand end to harassment of Al-Mizan newspaper staff

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Write to local MPs calling for them to pressure their Nigerian counterparts to stop the harassment of Al-Mizan newspaper staff


Content

1.    Summary
2.    Background
3.    Action Required
4.    Sample Letters


1. Summary

The Editor of Hausa-language Al-Mizan Newspaper Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal and Reporter Malam Aliyu Saleh continue to be harassed by local authorities after their release from detention without charge. Write to your Foreign Minister, the Nigerian authorities and the UN demanding they stop their harassment.

2. Background

Al-Mizan publications have been operating for many years and are committed to bringing justice through non-violent means.

In the early hours of Monday 24 December 2012, Nigerian security operatives ransacked the homes of Editor of Al-Mizan newspaper, Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal and Reporter with the Newspaper, Malam Aliyu Saleh. There the security operatives, some of whom were dressed in military uniforms, harassed and physically attacked the wife and son of Malam Musa Awwal, the latter of whom was suffering a deteriorating health condition.

It has been reported that the unlawful detention and harassment of the Al-Mizan employees may be linked to the newspaper revealing the misconduct of the Joint Task Force in Potiskum, Nigeria, in which 84 individuals were abducted and transported to unknown locations, in violation of the both the constitution and fundamental civil rights laws.

They were released from custody on Monday 01 January 2013, yet their confiscated personal items including laptops and mobile phones have still not been returned to them.

3. Action Required

IHRC requests campaigners and supporters to write letters and emails to their country’s foreign minister, local MPs and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice. Demand that they denounce the atrocities being committed by Nigerian security personnel, which are in violation of human rights and civil liberties, and do all that they can to ensure that Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal and Malam Aliyu Saleh are protected from the intimidation and other harassment of Nigeria’s State Security Service.


4. Sample Letter

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A sample letter is given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is very important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters. It is preferable that letters be sent via post, or otherwise by fax and/or email.

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a)    Minister of foreign affairs in your country. (UK campaigners can write using the address supplied below, fax: +44 (0)20 7839 2417 or email: private.office@fco.gov.uk)

[Your name]
[Your address]

Rt Hon. William Hague MP,
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
King Charles Street,
London,
SW1A 2AH,
United Kingdom.

[Date]

Dear Mr. Hague,

Re: Harassment of Editor and Reporter for Al-Mizan Newspaper, Nigeria

I would like to bring to your attention the recent unwarranted arrest and harassment of the Editor of Al-Mizan newspaper Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal and Reporter with the newspaper Malam Aliyu Saleh.  

In the early hours of Monday 24 December 2012, Nigerian security operatives, some of whom were dressed in military uniforms, ransacked the homes of these two individuals, without any search or arrest warrant. During this time, they also harassed and beat up the wife and son of Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal. Following their release, their personal equipment including mobile phones and laptops continues to be withheld.

Al-Mizan publications have been operating for many years in Nigeria and have been committed to bring positive change through non-violent means. Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal and Malam Aliyu Saleh were instrumental in raising awareness of the numerous atrocities committed by the Joint Task Force (JTF) including the abduction of 84 people, through their weekly newspaper.

As the foreign minister, I urge you to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of the personal items belonging to Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal and Malam Aliyu Saleh and the discontinuation of intimidatory behaviour towards them by the Nigerian State Security Service.


Please respond in order to address these concerns.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]

b)  Nigeria Federal Ministry of Justice – Attorney General

[Your name]
[Your address]

Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN
Federal Ministry of Justice – Attorney General
Federal Secretariat Towers (5th & 10th floors), Shehu Shagari Way
Central Area, P.M.B. 192
Garki Abuja, Nigeria

[Date]

Dear Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke,

Re: Harassment of Editor and Reporter for Al-Mizan Newspaper, Nigeria

I would like to bring to your attention the recent unwarranted and constitutionally illegal arrest and harassment of the Editor of Al-Mizan newspaper Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal and Reporter with the newspaper Malam Aliyu Saleh.  

In the early hours of Monday 24 December 2012, Nigerian security operatives, some of whom were dressed in military uniforms, ransacked the homes of these two individuals, without any search or arrest warrant. During this time, they also harassed and beat up the wife and son of Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal. Following their release, their personal equipment including mobile phones and laptops continues to be withheld.

Al-Mizan publications have been operating for many years in Nigeria and have been committed to bring positive change through non-violent means. Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal and Malam Aliyu Saleh were instrumental in raising awareness of the numerous atrocities committed by the Joint Task Force (JTF) including the abduction of 84 people, through their daily newspaper

As the Attorney General for the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice, I urge you to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of the personal items belonging to Malam Musa Muhammad Awwal and Malam Aliyu Saleh and the discontinuation of intimidatory behaviour towards them by the Nigerian State Security Service.


I await eagerly for your response.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]
[Your name]
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For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below
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Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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