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Nigeria should sanction CNN for report on shooting of protesters -minister

By Reuters 19 November 2020

ABUJA, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Nigeria should sanction CNN for its report that the country's military shot and killed protesters demonstrating against police brutality, a minister said on Thursday.

By Felix Onuah

The U.S. broadcaster used “unverified and possibly doctored videos” and “information from questionable sources” in the report, information minister Lai Mohammed told a news conference in Abuja.

When asked, Mohammed did not specify how the government might sanction CNN. He said he believes it has internal systems for dealing with erring staff, and that Nigerian authorities would also do what was necessary.

CNN did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Thousands of Nigerians took to the streets to protest against the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, which the demonstrators blame for killings, torture and extortion.

Though the protests were initially peaceful, demonstrators in an upmarket Lagos district were shot at on Oct. 20 by men witnesses said were soldiers. Rights group Amnesty international said 12 protesters were killed. The army denied involvement.

Nigeria fined three television stations over their reporting of the protests, Mohammed said, adding that the government wanted to check the trend in which media companies use materials obtained on social media without verification.

He said the government had no plans to shut down social media but he was advocating to regulate its use. (Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Paul Carsten and Giles Elgood)

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  • It’s an important issue to get to the bottom of. After the ANC’s Zuma years and the Republican’s Trump years, when sins of “fake news” were/are projected at the media in volumes that stick, it’s important for mainstream media, to remain trusted and relevant, to be above reproach.

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