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Media Rights Agenda - Promoting and Protecting Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression in Nigeria

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About MRA

ABOUT MEDIA RIGHTS AGENDA

The MRA is registered under Nigerian law and has Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and People's Rights. MRA's Aims and Objectives are:

  1. to promote respect and recognition for press freedom of expression in Nigeria
  2. to provide protection and support for journalists and writers engaged in the lawful pursuit of their professional duties
  3. to promote the highest standards of professional ethics, integrity, training and conduct in the journalism profession
  4. to bring about a conducive social and legal atmosphere for the practice of journalism, and ensure the protection of the journalist's right not to be compelled to work against his or her conviction or disclose confidential sources of information.

Free Press Quotes

"A number of criminal laws used against journalists, particularly those permitting detention without trials, maybe considered to be more repressive in general, as they violate not only the right to freedom of expression, but also the right to personal liberty and security which in turn creates a climate of self-censorship. But a media law, which seeks to licence journalist, represents a far more effective means of repressing public expression."

Freedom to Licence Journalists
March 1999, Article 19

"This argument (on the desirability of licencing journalists) is based on a distinction between professional journalism and the exercise of freedom of expression that the Court cannot accept. This argument assumes that it is possible to distinguish freedom of expression from the professional practice of journalism, which is not possible. Moreover, it implies serious dangers if carried to its logical conclusion. The practice of professional journalism cannot be differentiated from freedom of expression. On the contrary, both are obviously intertwined, for the professional journalist is not, nor can he be, anything but someone who has decided to exercise freedom of expression in a continuous, regular, and paid manner."

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in The Schmidt Case (Advisory Opinion OC-5/85, delivered on November 13, 1985)