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Soldiers beat journalists in Abia State press centre

first_imgNews Receive email alerts News Organisation In the Umuahia incident, a score of soldiers stormed into the Nigerian Union of Journalists press centre on 12 September, beat up some of the journalists there, and smashed or seized smartphones, computers and other equipment containing newly-shot photos and video.The targeted journalists had just covered Operation Python Dance, a show of strength by the army on the streets of Umuahia with the aim of ending clashes between soldiers and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, a separatist group that was angered by an army raid on its leader’s home last weekend.John Emejor, the head of the local branch of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, said the attack on the NUJ press centre was typical of increasingly dictatorial tendencies in Nigeria. He also pointed out the absurdity of destroying reporting material that would have helped to relay the message the army want to convey, namely a demonstration of its ability to use force if needed.Several hours after the incident, local army commanders went to the press centre to apologize and to give assurances that the soldiers responsible would be identified and punished.“It is good to see the military accepting responsibility but this event nonetheless shows that perceptions of what journalists do are a real problem in Nigeria,” said Clea Kahn-Sriber, the head of RSF’s Africa desk.“Journalists are regularly prevented from working and are subjected to violence by security or intelligence personnel. Instead of reacting after the event, the Nigerian government should make an effort to train the security forces about the role of journalists in society and thereby foster better relations between two sectors that are essential in a democracy.”At least three other journalists have been attacked since the start of the month. Channels Television reporter Segun Salami was badly beaten by security agents in the central state of Kogi on 1 September. And members of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) beat Timothy Agbor of The Point Newspapers and Toba Adedeji of Osun Defender while they were covering a demonstration by civil servants in the southwestern city of Osogbo on 11 September.RSF has tallied 53 cases of abuses against journalists since the start of the year, including 20 arrests and 23 cases of threats or physical violence. Nigeria is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index after falling six places in a year. NigeriaAfrica Condemning abuses Violence Nigerian investigative journalist forced to flee after massacre disclosures Nigerian news site deliberately blocked, expert report confirms NigeriaAfrica Condemning abuses Violence News RSF_en Follow the news on Nigeria Help by sharing this information to go further After this week’s attack on journalists by soldiers in Umuahia, the capital of the southeastern state of Abia, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges the federal government to send a strong message on the need to end violence and abuses against reporters and respect their work throughout the country. September 14, 2017 Soldiers beat journalists in Abia State press centre June 10, 2021 Find out more Twitter blocked, journalism threatened in Nigeria February 8, 2021 Find out more News January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Lecturer explores history of care for developmental disorders

first_imgJoshua Diehl, the chief strategy officer for autism services at South Bend’s LOGAN Center, explored the issue of care for the developmentally disabled throughout history in a Tuesday lecture, “The Past, Present and Future of Services for People with Disabilities: A LOGAN Perspective.” Diehl will be a fellow in Saint Mary’s Master of Autism Studies and is involved in autism research at Notre Dame.Diehl said the purpose of his speech was to discuss the history of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.“It has really been a checkered past and I want to intersperse how [the Michiana] region has played a role in changing that checkered past — at least moving forward to improve the situation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” he said.During the 19th century, Diehl said states implemented sterilization laws that had adverse effects for disabled people.“The movement toward eugenics greatly affected people with developmental disabilities,” he said. “ … Sometimes people were killed. There was not protection under the 14th Amendment … court case after court case went against people with disabilities.”The terms “moron, idiot and imbecile” were not derogatory terms during this time, Diehl explained, but instead were medical terms used to classify people with disabilities.“Someone who was a moron had moderate intellectual ability, an idiot had moderate intellectual disabilities and a person with very severe intellectual disability was an imbecile,” Diehl said. “It is fascinating because it transferred into pop culture and the way that we insult each other. The term that replaced these terms was mental retardation, and the word retard has taken on that role. We have a more visceral response to the word retard, but we do not have that same visceral response to these words.”Following the World Wars, there was a proliferation of institutions that frequently offered poor care for patients, Diehl said.“One of them was in South Bend,” he said. “What was different about this hospital was that it was for all ages and it was enormous; it was for all of the northern area of Indiana … the conditions were atrocious, children were stacked upon children with huge ratios that were one to 40.”In the 1950s, public schools were allowed to deny children with disabilities, Diehl said. In response, a group of parents created the LOGAN School which focused on education for children with disabilities and job preparation for adults with disabilities. In the 1970s, congressional legislation ensured education for everyone regardless of disability, he said. LOGAN and other organizations had to adapt from being schools to support centers.“That transition to school took a long time and it is still is taking a long time,” Diehl said.Diehl said that a deep awareness of disabilities is no longer adequate, and a better understanding is needed.“Everyone is aware now that developmental disabilities exist and are important, but I think what is missing is knowledge about them,” he said.Diehl encouraged people to share new ideas to improve education for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.“If you are afraid to say your idea, remember someone pitched an idea about a tornado filled with sharks, which became the multimillion-dollar movie ’Sharknado,’” he said.Tags: Autism, disabilities, logan center, serviceslast_img read more