The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) in Osun State has described as barbaric and condemnable, the unprovoked attack on journalists by overzealous officers of the Department of State Service (DSS).
CDHR in a press release signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Comrades Wahab Akinrinade and Emmanuel Olowu respectively on Wednesday said the attitude of the DSS operatives was absurd, cruel and criminal, saying that it was unbecoming of civilized security agents.
The human rights group stated that it was becoming alarming the rate at which journalists were being molested and attacked by security operatives in the state, recalling that officers of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) had early this year attacked the state correspondent of HallMark Newspaper, Mr Segun Adeyemi.
Calling on the DSS authority to sanction the errant officers and call his other operatives to order, CDHR warned that such attack on newsmen must not be swept under the carpet.
The group maintained that if the perpetrators of the attacks are left unpunished, it would further endangers the lives of journalists in the state, adding that it would smear the image of the security agencies if the case was not properly investigated and prosecuted.
The statement reads in part: “The attack on journalist by DSS operatives is highly condemnable. It is barbaric and absurd to see security agents attacking newsmen with impunity. This reminds us of the dark days of military era.
”Journalists are not just workers; they are the eyes and ears of the public. They are members of the fourth estate of the realm who are constitutionally empowered to perform their duties. Injustice to one is injustice to all.
“An attack on any journalist is an attack on all; and a threat to democracy. If journalists could be attacked freely by the DSS officers, who is save from the uncivilized and criminal act? It is a dangerous trend seeing DSS officers, who were supposed to be civil, informed and enlightened waging war against journalists.”