Zakariya Isa

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group that seeks the imposition of Shariah law in the predominantly Muslim states of northern Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the murder of Isa, 41, a reporter and cameraman for the state-run Nigeria Television Authority, or NTA, in the northeastern state of Borno, according to local journalists and news reports.

About a month before the killing, Boko Haram had issued a statement saying it would attack media organizations for what it described as misrepresentations of its activities, according to press reports. Journalists told CPJ that Boko Haram perceived cameramen and photographers, particularly those working for state media, as potential spies.

In an emailed statement issued after the killing, Boko Haram spokesman Abul Qaqa said the militants killed Isa “because he was spying on us for Nigerian security authorities,” according to Agence France-Presse. Local journalists and Nigerian authorities said the assertion was untrue, AFP reported.