Epoch Times Reporter released on bail from Nigerian prison


Luka Binniyat, whose reports of the massacre in Kaduna caused anger in the authorities, was released on bail after enduring nearly three months in a Nigerian prison.

Vinyat told the Epoch Times that he would meet with the prosecutor on February 28 on suspicion of cyberstalking.

“Since I was detained in 2017, the condition of the prison has deteriorated. I think the prisoners are malnourished and the condition is life-threatening,” said Vinyat.

The release of journalists was welcomed by advocates of press freedom in Nigeria and the United States and human rights observers.

Epoch Times Photo
A casket carrying the bodies of 38 Christian villagers killed by armed Fula Muslim terrorists in the village of Madamai in central Nigeria on September 26, 2021. (LukaBinniyat / The Epoch Times)

“”According to a text to the Epoch Times from Jonathan Rosen, a senior researcher at the Committee to Protect Journalists, bail for Luka Vinyat is welcomed, but he should not be arrested and the criminal proceedings against him will be withdrawn. Should be.

“Journalism is not a crime, and Nigerian authorities should reform the laws of their country to ensure that journalists are not imprisoned for their work.” Rosen wrote.

Vinyat was arrested by Kaduna police on November 6, 2021 for defamation of his personality and harmful false accusation, and was later converted to a “cyberstalker” charge.

His October 29 story at the Epoch Times included an interview with a local lawmaker that contradicted Kaduna officials’ allegations about the massacre in Madamai, Kaduna during the summer.

“Temporary release from Luka Vinyat’s prison is a step towards correcting the terrible injustice he has endured,” said Nina Shea, a human rights lawyer and scholar at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. ..

Epoch Times Photo
Mrs. Florence Tuga, principal of Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna, Nigeria, after 121 students were kidnapped on July 5, 2021. (LukaBinniyat / The Epoch Times)

“Now, all accusations against him should be withdrawn immediately,” Shay continued.

“Reporting crime and how the state treats it is a typical part of media coverage and the basis of functioning democracy. It covers this with Vinyat’s rights and reporters. It was his duty as. “

“Judging him for reporting an unchecked and unpunished genocide shows that Kaduna has fallen further into the horrifying state of the brutal lawlessness that is becoming world-famous.” Shea told the Epoch Times.

“The illegal detention of Luka Vinyat, a prolific and brave journalist based in Kaduna, shows how severely the journalists were treated by the Muhammadu Buhari administration,” said Nigerian political dissident Omoiere.・ Sowar wrote in the Epoch Times.

Sowore, the founder of US-based Sahara Reporters, ran for president in 2019 and is under house arrest in the capital of Abuja today.

Epoch Times Photo
Omoieresoware, the founder of Nigeria’s political dissidents, a US-based Saharan reporter. (Provided by Omoyele Sowore)

“I urge conscientious people to continue to demand that his rights be respected and that sanctions be imposed on Governor Nacil Elfay of Kaduna.

“His tendency towards harassment of human rights activists and journalists is well known, but unacceptable,” Sowole wrote.

“I have few heroes, but veteran Nigerian correspondent Lara Logan is one of them,” Fox Nation’s war correspondent Lara Logan told The Epoch Times.

Binniyat was a named contributor to Logan’s documentary on terrorism in Nigeria, which began streaming on FoxNation last September.

“He is the light that every journalist in the world should follow, and he is a sincere and truly courageous person.”

“The conditions that Vinyat endured are beyond humans and we cannot wait silently.

“I will participate in calling on the dissident Omoiere Soiree to demand that all conscientious people respect the rights of Vignat,” Logan said.

Lawrence Zongo

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Lawrence Zongo is a journalist based in Jos, Nigeria. He specializes in reporting war crimes, terrorism, human rights abuses and abuse.