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The management of The Whistler, an online newspaper in Nigeria, has demanded the immediate release of its reporter, Kasarahchi Aniagolu, who was arrested and detained by Nigeria police officers in Abuja on Wednesday.

Aniagolu was filming a raid of the base of Bureau de Change operators in Wuse Zone 4 axis of Abuja when cops swooped on her, despite identifying herself as a journalist.

She was reportedly manhandled, and had her mobile device confiscated.

The Whistler, in a statement, said Aniagolu was being held at the Anti-Violence Crime Unit of the police in Guzape, Abuja.

The newspaper’s management is calling for her immediate release and an apology from the police leadership.

Part of the statement reads, “We are deeply disturbed by the complete disregard for press freedom by the Nigeria Police Force and the blatant violation of Ms. Aniagolu’s fundamental rights. The physical assault and threats to her life are utterly unacceptable and a direct attack on independent journalism.

“Furthermore, the conflicting statements regarding the operation from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) headquarters and the FCT Police Command raise serious concerns about accountability and transparency.

“The respective authorities’ blatant denial of the operation further highlights the need for a thorough investigation into this undemocratic incident.

“We call for a swift and transparent investigation into her unlawful arrest, assault, and detention. Those responsible for these actions must also be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

“We urge all relevant authorities to uphold the fundamental rights of journalists and ensure their safety and freedom to report without fear or intimidation.”

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As of press time Wednesday, Ms. Aniagolu remained in custody and was unreachable by the newspaper’s management.


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