Agba Jalingo Listed In World's 10 'Most Urgent' Cases Of Threats To Press Freedom




Nigerian journalist, Agba Jalingo, has been recorded in the November list of the most urgent cases of threats to press freedom suffered by journalists around the world.

Jalingo, who publishes Cross River Watch magazine based in Cross River State, has been facing immense threat since he published an article on how governor of the state, Ben Ayade, approved and diverted N500mil meant for Cross River Micro Finance Bank.

Jalingo was eventually arrested in a junta style by the police in Lagos on August 22, 2019, and was not arraigned until 34 days in detention.

He was denied bail twice with the court also giving an order for unidentified witnesses to testify against Jalingo in mask, signaling lack of fair hearing in the case.










The list — released each month by the One Free Press Coalition, which was created by a dozen news organisations including TIME, with the goal of defending journalists under attack — identifies ten of the most severe cases of threats to press freedom around the world.

Other journalists on the list, who have come under threat include an imprisoned reporter in Egypt tortured and a detained Uzbek blogger.

The journalists on the November list are:

1. Jamal Khashoggi (Saudi Arabia): No resolution in violent killing inside Saudi Consulate. 

The one-year anniversary of Khashoggi’s killing has passed without officials opening independent criminal investigation into his death despite findings from United States intelligence officials and the United Nations pointing to bin Salman’s involvement. Although the Saudi prince has claimed responsibility for the murder, calling it a “mistake,” he has denied having a direct role.

2. Daphne Caruana Galizia (Malta): No resolution two years after reporter was murdered in Malta. 

More than two years have passed since investigative reporter, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was killed in a car-bomb explosion in Malta. Though three men have been taken into detention in relation to her murder, no one has been brought to justice. Trial dates have not been announced either.

3. Esraa Abdel Fattah (Egypt): Imprisoned and tortured over allegations of spreading false news. 

The Egyptian journalist Esraa Abdel Fattah was arrested on October 13 and was one of at least seven journalists detained amid anti-government protests in Egypt. Abdel Fattah has said through lawyers that she would start a hunger strike to protest being abused while detained, saying she was tortured while in custody, including being beaten, hung from her handcuffs and choked while being asked to give up her cellphone password.

4. Azory Gwanda (Tanzania): Authorities withholding information about journalist missing for two years. 

November 21 will mark two years since the freelance journalist Azory Gwanda disappeared. He had previously been investigating mysterious killings in Tanzania. Though a Tanzanian government official said in July that Gwanda had “disappeared and died,” they later backtracked on the statement.

5. Miroslava Breach Velducea (Mexico): Trial continues in Mexican correspondent’s murder. 

A correspondent for Mexico City newspaper La Jornada, Miroslava Breach Velducea was killed in March 2017 for her reporting on ties between politicians and organized crime. The trial in her murder case is ongoing, though the next court date has not been set.

6. Shujaat Bukhari (India): Suspects still at large in editor’s killing. 

Shujaat Bukhari, founder and editor of the newspaper Rising Kashmir, was fatally shot along with two police officers in June 2018. While police have identified four suspects, one of whom was later killed, officials have given few other updates in the case.

7. Nafosat Olloshukurova (Uzbekistan): Uzbek blogger detained in a psychiatric center. 

The Uzbek blogger Nafosat Olloshukurova has been detained in a psychiatric center for at least a month, following 10 days detention on charges of petty hooliganism and taking part in unauthorized assemblies. Prior to her arrest, Olloshukurova was covering writer Mahmud Rajabov’s efforts to have a criminal case against him dropped. Her family says they have not been able to contact her since late September.

8. Mahmoud Hussein (Egypt): Detained Egyptian journalist’s pre-trial continuously extended. 

Mahmoud Hussein, a journalist who was working with Al Jazeera, was arrested in Dec. 2016 on charges of spreading false news and inciting actions against state institutions. Though his detention was initially said to be for 15 days, it has been repeatedly extended every 45 days. The arrest and detention is tied to a 2016 documentary about conscription in Egypt, which the government says uses fake footage.










9. Agba Jalingo (Nigeria): Nigerian publisher faces life sentence if found guilty in upcoming trial. 

Nigerian publisher Agba Jalingo was arrested on Aug. 22 and later charged with disturbance of public peace and treason for writings and social media posts about Cross River State governor, Benedict Ayade. If found guilty of treason, Jalingo could face a life sentence in prison.

10. Martin Inoua Doulguet (Chad): Chadian newspaper leaders face fines and unequal punishment. 

The director of the newspaper Salam Info, Martin Inoua Doulguet has been arrested and faces charges of conspiracy and defamation brought from a Chad government health official. Doulguet is awaiting a date to appeal his three-year sentence, which began in September.



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