Members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Enugu State Council, on Thursday protested against the increasing harassment and intimidation of journalists in parts of the country.
The protest march, which took place within the premises of the NUJ Press Centre on Rangers Avenue, was led by the Chairman of the Council, Rex Arum.
Mr Arum said that the protest followed a directive by the national leadership of the union over the impunity of security agencies and politicians against journalists.
He said that events of recent times had made media men endangered species along their duty line.
The council chairman said that the contributions of the media toward the enthronement of the current democratic experience seemed to have been forgotten.
“Politicians and security agencies should not see the media as enemies,” Arum said.
Chris Isiguzo, National Vice President Zone C of the union, said that the consistent intimidation of journalists had become worrisome.
Mr Isiguzo said it was sad that journalists were subjected to all manner of inhuman treatments, adding that a few had even paid the ultimate price.
“Three weeks ago one of our colleagues in Enugu, Mr Raphael Edeh was brutalised and almost arraigned in the State High Court but for the intervention of the Commissioner of Police, Mr Danmallam Mohammed.
“Journalists have poured out on the streets to protest. We have decided not to give up to the protection of democracy,” he said.
Mr Isiguzo said that journalists would no longer tolerate such harassment of any colleague dutifully carrying out their jobs.
“While we call on journalists to carry out their jobs within the ambit of the law, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the security agencies and politicians to order,” Mr Isiguzo said.
A victim of police brutality, Ralph Edeh of The Sun Newspapers, who recounted how he had been molested by the police, appealed for adequate protection for journalists.
Mr Edeh said that he had twice been a victim of police brutality, but for the intervention of the commissioner of police, he was almost framed up as a kidnapper at the Enugu State High Court.
“I was investigating a murder case and had gone to the house of one of the alleged suspects for information.
“Upon entering their compound after giving me an appointment, they locked their gate and called the police to arrest me.
“I was beaten up by the police and marked for arraignment as a kidnapper,” Eden said.
Meanwhile, the Police Command in Enugu has assured journalists of their safety while carrying out their lawful duties.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amarizu, gave the assurance while reacting to the protest by journalists on alleged brutalisation by security agencies.