Nigeria’s military has released an editor two days after detaining him over
an article about a planned offensive against Islamist militants in the
northeast, his newspaper said.
Soldiers raided the Daily Trust’s offices in the capital Abuja on Sunday in
an operation that the Committee to Protect Journalists said showed “a dearth of
respect for press freedom” a month before elections.
Soldiers also shut down the newspaper’s bureau in the northeastern city of
Maiduguri where they detained regional editor Uthman Abubakar. The military
later said the article had “divulged classified military information” and the
action was meant to show the seriousness of the breach.
Islamist militants have stepped up attacks in the northeast in recent
months, piling pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in
2015 promising to crush the insurgency and faces fresh elections on Feb. 16.
The military has complained in the past about critical coverage of its fight
against the militants from the Boko Haram separatist group, and their more
lethal offshoot Islamic State West Africa. But it had stopped short of
Abubakar was brought back to the paper’s Maiduguri office and released
without charge on Tuesday, the Daily Trust said in an article. The bureau was
reopened a day earlier.