Update to Response to Information Request NGA19637.E of 24 February 1995 on whether newspaper vendors were arrested in 1997, especially in March 1997 [NGA28500.E]

According to 2 October 1997 report by

Africa News

Elsewhere, a government anti-crime outfit called "Operation Sweep" is patrolling the streets of Lagos, targeting newspaper vendors. "Operation Sweep" has already caused the death of one person and the abduction of another. On 1 July, Godfrey Chukwu, a newspaper vendor in Lagos, died after the outfit fired without warning; one of the bullets hit Chukwu in the head

The following information was provided during a 8 January 1998 telephone interview with a representative on the Nigerian desk at Reporters sans frontière in Paris.

The representative stated that the Nigerian military régime has been taking actions against freedom of the press since 1995. The representative added that street vendors of pro-government newspapers have not been submitted to harassment by the security force, but street vendors of privately-owned newspapers who publish articles critical of the régime would be in a position to experience problems with the security forces. The objective of the security forces is not the intimidation of individual street vendors but to force the owners of the newspapers and their journalists to tone down their criticism.

The representative stated that in 1997, Reporters sans frontières had information about one case of a street vendor being killed and one abducted. The representative did not have information on any specific arrests of street vendors in March 1997.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Africa News [London]. 2 October 1997. "Nigeria: Clean Sweep of the Media in Nigeria, Says Reporters' Group." (NEXIS)

Reportera sans frontières, Paris, France. 8 January 1997. Telephone interview with a representative of the Nigeria desk.