Press Freedom: AMDF condemns attack on Kaduna Female Journalist

Reports reaching Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) shows that a female radio reporter, Halima Aliyu Kofar Doka was on Saturday 12th August, 2017 assaulted while carrying out her duty as a journalist in Zaria, Kaduna North west Nigeria.

Halima is a Zaria Based radio reporter with DITV Alheri Radio, and the host of a women’s programme “Muryar Mata”. Halima was following a story of a 2 year old baby girl being physically molested by her father. Having seen the baby at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika she proceeded to see the father of the girl to balance her report.

She told AMDF that “I went to the Father’s compound in unguwar Kuspa in Zaria on Saturday around past 7 in the evening. I met the step mother of the girl and after we exchanged pleasantries I introduced
myself as a journalist and told her my mission there, she pounced on me and grabbed me by the neck”.

Halima was hit against the door where she sustained injuries on her leg and hit other parts of her body.

AMDF laments these unprecedented attacks on journalists in Kaduna state. It is unfortunate that Kaduna that is meant to be a liberal state has become a hot zone for press freedom.

The rising attacks on journalists: the recent attack on the NUJ secretariat by political hoodlums and this attack on a female journalist no doubt stem from the repressive actions of government and its agents on journalists.

In the last two years, journalists in Kaduna have been picked up by government agents, detained and jailed in some cases, these actions have exposed the journalists to dangers from the citizens who no longer have regard for journalists practicing in the state.

It is unfortunate that the incessant attacks in Kaduna has dragged Nigeria up the ladder of press freedom index from 116 to 122; placing Nigeria on the red-zone for press freedom on the globe.

AMDF therefore calls on security agencies to ensure Halima obtains justice by punishing her attacker to serve as a deterrent for others with such tendencies.
We also call on Civil Society Organizations and human right activists to lend their voices in restoring the sanctity and respect for the press; the fourth estate of the realm in Kaduna state.

As an organization that promotes press freedom, AMDF desires to see a free society where journalists undertake their assignments without fear and will no doubt play its part in standing against every attack
and impunity against journalists.

Sekyen Dadik

Coordinator AMDF