Haruna Mohammed Salisu was released on bail on March 2, 2023, several days after he was arrested while covering elections in Nigeria. (Photo Credit: Herald Reporters)

Journalists detained, harassed while covering Nigerian election

The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.

At least 14 journalists and media workers were detained, harassed, or attacked while covering Nigeria’s presidential and federal elections on February 25. WikkiTimes editor Haruna Mohammed Salisu was among those arrested, and was held until Thursday, when he was released on bail.

Those incidents came after political protesters attacked journalist Jonathan Ugbal on February 22, and security forces barred journalists from covering aspects of the election run-up. Before the elections, journalists told CPJ that covering the voting was “like going to the war front.”

Separately, CPJ called on Guatemalan authorities to stop any investigation of columnists and employees of elPeriódico newspaper, release its president José Rubén Zamora unconditionally, and allow the newspaper’s staff to work freely.

Judge Jimi Bremer, acting on a request by prosecutor Cinthya Monterroso of the Guatemalan Prosecutor’s Office, ordered an investigation on February 28 into journalists and columnists of elPeriódico newspaper as part of a new criminal case against Zamora on charges of “conspiracy to obstruct justice.” Zamora has been imprisoned since July 29, 2022.

Separately, CPJ recently launched three new safety videos providing practical guidance to journalists covering unrest worldwide, advice on situations to consider while field reporting, and highlighting common safety issues. The videos provide guidance on preparing for a demonstration, when demonstrations escalate, and when teargas is used in protests.

Global press freedom updates

  • CPJ calls for Morocco to release journalist Taoufik Bouachrine 5 years after his arrest
  • CPJ, press freedom groups express support for Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr following libel verdict
  • CPJ, rights groups call on Bangladesh to cease harassment of Rozina Islam in public letter
  • Indian journalist Devendra Khare shot in Uttar Pradesh
  • Editor Tamás Bodoky on threats to Hungary’s independent media funding
  • Slovak radio host Marta Jančkárová receives death threats following bias allegation
  • Turkish authorities jail 2 journalists over earthquake coverage, detain a third overnight
  • Georgia draft laws seek to brand media outlets as foreign agents
  • Three journalists face criminal investigation in Bosnia and Herzegovina leak probe
  • CPJ calls on authorities to arrest organizers of attacks on independent journalists in Kazakhstan


During the 67th session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), CPJ is organizing and partnering on several events to spotlight the intersection of women’s rights and press freedom worldwide.

CPJ is co-hosting a panel discussion with the International Women’s Media Foundation at 10:30 a.m. EST on March 6 in New York. The event, “Rights in Focus: Abortion & Press Freedom at Risk,” will be moderated by Lucy Westcott, CPJ’s Emergencies director. RSVP here.

CPJ is co-sponsoring a side event organized by the Permanent Missions of Austria, Czechia, and Slovakia to the U.N., featuring CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg called “Online Safety & Digital Empowerment of Women Journalists: Combatting Online Threats & Harassment” at 10 a.m. on March 9, in New York. RSVP here or tune into the livestream here.

At 11 a.m. EST on March 9, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said is participating in a virtual panel, “Violence Against Women Journalists Around the World.” RSVP for the virtual event here.

What we are reading

A closer look | CPJ’s most-read features in February

Explore our database of attacks on the press.

Do you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device? Enable CPJ's flash briefing skill to stay up to date with the latest press freedom news from around the world.