11 July 1996


Middle East News Agency correspondent detained for one week; ordered to leave

On 4 July 1996, IPI expressed concerned at measures taken against
Hassan Anwar, the designated correspondent in Nigeria for the
Middle East News Agency (MENA).

Anwar had reportedly received an official entry visa from the
Nigerian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, after presenting documents
designating him as the MENA correspondent in Abuja, Nigeria. Upon
his arrival in Nigeria, on 11 June, he presented himself to
officials at the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Information. He
was received by the Minister of Information, who welcomed him and
agreed to finalise procedures to accredit him as a foreign
Upon approval of the Ministry of Information, Anwar approached
Nigerian security authorities on 24 June seeking the residence
permit he would need prior to receiving official permission to
begin his press work. However, he was suddenly detained and
accused that some "alleged" organisations had sent him to Nigeria
to carry out a "vague mission." He was detained for one week and
only released after the intervention of the Egyptian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and its Ambassador to Nigeria. Anwar was ordered
to leave Nigeria immediately. He arrived in Egypt on 1 July.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to Nigerian authorities:

  • stating that Nigerian authorities' actions were a flagrant attack
    on freedom of the press
  • urging that this case be fully investigated, and that Anwar be
    allowed to return to Nigeria to perform his journalistic work free
    from harassment and obstacles

    Appeals To

    His Excellency General Sani Abacha
    Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council and Commander-in-Chief
    of the Armed Forces
    State House
    Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria
    Fax: +234 95 232 138

    His Excellency Lieutenant-General D. Oladipo Diya
    Provisional Ruling Council
    State House
    Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria
    Fax: +234 95 232 138

    His Excellency Michael Agbamuche
    Attorney General and Minister of Justice
    Federal Ministry of Justice
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Fax: +234 95 232 138

    the diplomatic representative of your country to Nigeria

    the Nigerian diplomatic representative to your country

    (in Canada)
    High Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
    295 Metcalfe St.
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K2P 1R9 Canada
    Fax: +1 613 236 0529

    Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.

  • Source

    International Press Institute
    Spiegelgasse 2
    1010 Vienna
    ipi (@) freemedia.at
    Fax:+43 1 5129014
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