The detention and beating of a Deutsche Welle (DW) correspondent in Nigeria has prompted a protest note from Germany’s foreign broadcaster. Deutsche Welle has called on Nigeria “to hold the police officers involved accountable.”
Ibraheema Yakubu was detained and beaten by police officers while reporting as an accredited journalist for DW’s Hausa language service on a protest rally in Kaduna, Deutsche Welle said in an official note of protest on Sunday.
DW’s protest note – addressed to Nigeria’s information minister and media advisers in the Nigeria’s presidential office – described Friday’s events in northern Nigeria as an “unspeakable incident.”
Several Nigerian media outlets reported that Yakubu was arrested along with a number of other people while covering an annual procession by Shiites that ended up in a “disturbance” involving local residents.
When released on bail hours later, Yakubu said he was beaten in detention by police officers and that police damaged his technical equipment.
Two media outlets, News Express and Premium Times, said their attempts Saturday to obtain comment from Kaduna police had gone unanswered.
Demand: drop all charges
The Bonn-based broadcaster demanded that Nigerian authorities drop all charges against Yakubu and the release on bail be rescinded.
“An official statement and apology by police authorities is definitely called for. And we expect the cost to replace his destroyed professional equipment to be covered by Nigerian authorities,” DW wrote.
“We expect the freedom of the press to be respected in your country,” the broadcaster added.
DW wrote that the “long-standing and valuable relationship with the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its media made the ‘unspeakable’ incident “even more grave.”
Yakubu’s mistreatment had been brought to the attention of Germany’s Foreign Ministry, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and New York-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), DW said.