Christian Solidarity International (CSI) has appealed to Amnesty International to join in calling the Nigerian authorities to free detained Nigerian journalist and human rights activist Luka Binniyat.
Binniyat was jailed in November after reporting on Fulani militia attacks against Christian communities in Kaduna State.
“I write to urge Amnesty International to join CSI, the Committee to Protect Journalists and many others in calling for the immediate release of the incarcerated Nigerian journalist and human rights defender Luka Binniyat, and for the dropping of all charges against him,” said CSI International President John Eibner in a letter dated 21 December 2021 addressed to AI Secretary General Dr Agnès Callamard.
Binniyat has been held without bail for more than six weeks following his arrest on 4 November. He is accused by Kaduna State’s Head of Internal Security Samuel Aruwan of defamation and cyberstalking over a newspaper article he wrote that highlighted the security agent’s role in covering up an act of genocide committed by nomadic Fulani tribal militias against the indigenous people of Kaduna.
Long an outspoken critic of the consistent failure of the Nigerian authorities, especially Kaduna’s Fulani Governor Nasir El-Rufai, to prevent atrocity crimes committed by Fulani tribal militias and prosecute perpetrators, Binniyat has been jailed twice before, spending 90 days in prison in 2017.
For his fearless journalism, Binniyat was awarded the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union Icon of Human Rights and Voice of the Voiceless award in 2017. He received the Press Freedom award of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in 2018.
“By raising its voice now, Amnesty International can help hasten the end of Luka Binniyat’s incarceration, and signal to the Nigerian authorities that they cannot imprison and otherwise intimidate journalists with impunity,” concluded the letter.
“Let us do our utmost to Free Luka Binniyat.”