The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) says the arrest of Daniel Elombah, publisher of elombah.com, is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government’s plan to suppress press freedom.
On Monday, operatives of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) invaded the Nnewi residence of the publisher and arrested him and Tim, his brother.
The police have refused to state the reason for their arrest.
In a statement on Tuesday, Austyn Ogannah, OPAN’s president, said the use of security agencies to harras journalists must stop.
Ogannah called on the government to respect free speech and protect the fundamental rights of citizens.
“OPAN views the assault of elombah.com as part of a sustained plot by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to intimidate and suppress press freedom,” it read.
“We wish to remind this administration that we are in a democratic dispensation. The practice of using security agencies to harass journalists, especially those operating in digital media must stop.
“We implore this administration to respect free speech and protect the fundamental rights of citizens, whilst also urging the judicial arm of government not to allow its judges and courts become a tool in the hands of dictators and oppressors, to legitimise their abuse and violation of human rights.”