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New Record As 24 Journalists Killed, 293 Imprisoned Globally -CPJ

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The number of journalists behind bars reached a record high in 2021, with 293 behind bars as political upheaval and media crackdowns reflect increasing intolerance for independent reporting around the world.
At the same time, targeted killings of journalists persist, with 24 documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in its annual prison census and survey of attacks on the press.
China continues to be the world’s worst jailer, with CPJ’s 2021 prison census documenting 50 behind bars as the country prepares to host the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022.
It is followed by Myanmar (26), which arrested scores of reporters in a wave of repression following its February 1 military coup, then Egypt (25), Vietnam (23) and Belarus (19).
For the first time, CPJ’s census includes journalists jailed in Hong Kong, such as Apple Daily founder, Jimmy Lai, who was honored with CPJ’s 2021 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award.
In Ethiopia, an escalating civil war prompted new media restrictions that saw it emerge as the second-worst jailer of journalists in sub-Saharan Africa, after Eritrea.
“This is the sixth year in a row that CPJ has documented record numbers of journalists imprisoned around the world. The number reflects two inextricable challenges — governments are determined to control and manage information, and they are increasingly brazen in their efforts to do so,” said CPJ Executive Director, Joel Simon.
“Imprisoning journalists for reporting the news is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime. It’s distressing to see many countries on the list year after year, but it is especially horrifying that Myanmar and Ethiopia have so brutally slammed the door on press freedom.”
Rounding off the top ten were Turkey, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran, where leaders routinely weaponise tech and security laws to stifle dissent and continue to flout international norms without consequence.
Globally, anti-state charges remain the most common, but this year CPJ also documented at least 17 jailed journalists charged with cybercrimes, which in some cases can result in criminal prosecution for anything published or distributed online.
In Europe, Belarus, which infamously diverted a commercial flight from to arrest journalist Raman Pratasevich, now has 19 journalists behind bars – the country’s highest since CPJ started keeping data on imprisoned journalists in 1992.
In Latin America, which historically has had fewer numbers in prison, journalists were jailed in Cuba (3), Nicaragua (2) and Brazil (1), and threats to press freedom intensified across the region.
No journalists were jailed in North America at the time of the census deadline.
However, the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a partner of CPJ, recorded 56 arrests and detentions of journalists across the U.S. during 2021, with the vast majority occurring during protests.
While countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia seemingly bucked the trend of putting more journalists in prison than in previous years, this does not signal an improved climate for press freedom, but rather a diversification of censorship, with authorities using tools like surveillance and internet shutdowns along with prisoner releases under conditions that deny the very notion of freedom.
Globally, India had the highest number – four – of journalists confirmed to have been killed in direct retaliation for their work, and another killed while covering a protest.
Mexico, however, remained the Western hemisphere’s deadliest country for journalists, with three murdered for their reporting and the motives for six other killings under investigation.
Of journalists killed worldwide this year, nearly 80% were murdered.
In democratic and authoritarian regimes alike, the cycle of impunity remains, sending a chilling message that perpetrators will not be held accountable.
This week the Summit for Democracy, a new foreign policy centerpiece of the United States, includes participation by at least seven countries on CPJ’s prison census, several of which also have a record of impunity, including Brazil, India, Iraq, and the Philippines, where authorities continue to retaliate against independent journalists like this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, issuing yet another trumped up charge against her this week.
Despite the grim picture painted by the report, CPJ continues to fight against censorship. CPJ advocacy contributed to the early release of at least 100 imprisoned journalists worldwide in 2021.
Recently, as part of A Safer World For The Truth, CPJ and partners launched a People’s Tribunal to address impunity in journalist killings.
The tribunal, a form of grassroots justice, relies on investigations and high-quality legal analysis involving specific cases to provide a framework for justice and accountability.
CPJ’s prison census is a snapshot of those incarcerated at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2021.
It does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year; accounts of those cases can be found at CPJ’s analysis of journalists killed for their work is based on data as of December 1, 2021.
CPJ’s website is continually updated at cpj.org/data/killed/
CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organisation that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.

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NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians To EU Ban On Dex Soap

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The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has alerted Nigerians on the ban on Dex Luxury Bar Soap (No 6 Mystic Flower), by the European Union (EU).
The notification is contained in a public alert with No. 012/2024, signed by NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, and issued to newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
“The product does not comply with the cosmetic products regulation; it also contains Butyphenyl Methylpropional (BMHCA), which is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its risk of harming the reproductive system.
“It also causes harm to the health of unborn children and may cause skin sensitisation.
“It is as a result of the defective nature of the product that the EU banned it.
“The products is not in NAFDAC database; importers, distributors, retailers and consumers are to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain,” she said.
NAFDAC boss urged marketers and consumers to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and use of the product, stressing that product’s authenticity and physical condition must be carefully checked.
She enjoined members of the public in possession of the product to discontinue sale or use, and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

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Communities, Volunteers Ready To Face Upcoming Floods – Red Cross

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The Country Manager of the British Red Cross in Nigeria, Karsten Voigt, says communities and volunteers are ready to face the challenges expected with the upcoming floods.
Voigt said this at the sidelines of the 56th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Lagos Branch.
The Tide’s source recalls that the British Red Cross donated resilience items to some communities in December 2023, to help mitigate the effects of flooding.
The items included cash, rain boots, rain coats, mosquito nets, handheld flashlights, solar powered lights with radio, USB chargers and a bridge to link the communities.
The communities that benefited included Agboyi 1, Agboyi 2, Agboyi 3 and Odo Ogun in Kosofe Local Government Area of the state.
Voigt said the Red Cross had measured the impact of the project in the communities and noticed that a lot of progress had been made.
According to him, apart from the cash and items given to the communities, simulation exercises have also been carried out to prepare the volunteers ahead of the floods.
“We have seen that people used the cash to address immediate needs they have after floods.
“Many households have used part of the cash to build up businesses.
“The solutions we have given to them are not only addressing their immediate needs after the disaster but actually building family income for their future,” he said.

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Nimet Forecasts Three-Day Sunshine, Thunderstorms

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted sunshine and thunderstorm from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
NiMet’s weather outlook released yesterday in Abuja, forecasts sunny skies on Monday with a few patches of cloud over the northern cities and prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Taraba later in the day.
According to the forecast, sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with prospects of morning thunderstorm over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Kogi and Kwara States.
“Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi and Benue States.
“The southern region is expected to be cloudy with spells of sunshine with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Oyo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos States.
“ In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Ekiti, Ogun, Imo, Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Lagos and Bayelsa States,” it said.
NiMet also anticipated sunny skies on Tuesday with few patches of cloud over the northern states with prospects of isolated thunderstorms envisaged over parts of Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and Kaduna States during the afternoon and evening hours.
It envisaged the North Central region to be sunny with patches of cloud during the morning hours.
The agency also envisaged isolated thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue, Kwara and Niger States, later in the day.
“Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South, with chances of morning thunderstorm over parts of Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
“In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers and Bayelsa States ,” it said.
It predicted a sunny atmosphere on Wednesday, with patches of cloud over the northern region, during the forecast period.
“Sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, the Federal Capital Territory and Benue States, during the afternoon/evening periods.
“ Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia.”
Other states to experience cloudy atmosphere, are “Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States, later in the day.”
NiMet urged the public to take adequate precaution as strong winds might precede rains in areas where thunderstorms were likely to occur.
The agency also urged airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from its office for effective planning in their operations.

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