Thursday, October 30, 2008

As suspected, pressure from within and outside Nigeria resulted in Jonathan Elendu's release from unconstitutional SSS/EFCC detention. Jonathan Elendu was arrested almost 2 weeks ago and according to reports was tortured and forced to starve due to fear of poisoning.

Unfortunately, although he is now receiving medical attention, Elendu is not actually free. His passport was not returned to him and therefore he is not free to return to his family in Michigan. Although he is no longer in detention, Elendu remains detained in Nigeria by the Nigerian government because without his travel documents, he does not have the right to leave Nigeria and return tohis residence in Michigan.

This technicality - free from SSS detention, but not free to return to his home - further suggests that the Nigerian government is not interested in respecting Elendu's human rights. Many questions remain, however, why is teh government forcing Elendu to remain in the country? Some have argued that the government is using Elendu as an 'example' to those who disagree with its practices and as a warning to those who write about the Yar'Adua administration and other related issues in the country.

What Elendu and his family are experiencing could happen to anyone reading these words as long as you enter the territorial domain of the Nigerian government. Foreign journalists have been arrested by the SSS in recent months because the government objected with their work. Nigerian citizens have been detained for no reason and lost their lives in SSS detention. With regard to Elendu, we all see how a Nigerian blogger was detained, not allowed to contact his family or even his lawyer and was not charged wit any crime for 11 days only to be released, but not truly be free.

Considering the dearth of information about Elendu's situation from most major news outlets in Nigeria and abroad, imagine what could have happened to Elendu if bloggers and organizations like Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Bloggers, HURIWA and others did not spotlight his plight.

Because of this harsh reality, it remains imperative to continue the online rally as originally planned for Friday, October 31st. As previously indicated, all individuals who want and/or expect the respect of human rights must join together to encourage the Nigerian government to actually "FREE JONATHAN ELENDU NOW!" by returning his passport and allowing him leave to return to his family in America.This online rally is a collective expression that we never want another person's freedom infringed upon by the Nigerian government, especially as it could be any of us next time around.

As such, please join us in using "FREE JONATHAN ELENDU NOW!" as your FaceBook status, blog/article post and even email theme tomorrow, October 31st.

UPDATE: Bloggers in Egypt are getting arrested as well.

Related Articles of Interest:
- Blogger, Jonathan Elendu, Still In Custody
- Nigerian Blogger Arrested!!!
- Channels TV Shut Down By Yar'Adua
- Suppression In A Democratic Regime
- The Nigerian Psyche
- Persistent Psychological Paralysis
- The Significance of Persistent Psychological Paralysis
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Anonymous said...

The show must go on... I am in full support of the rally. I can't believe they still haven't returned his passport. Quite sad but he is continuously in our prayers

Anonymous said...

Elendu is not actually free ??? Is he in custody of the authorities or not? Is anyone holding him?


@ T&T: just came back from your excellent blog. Thanks so much for visiting Nigerian Curiosity. Make sure to not be a stranger.

Please remember to participate in the online rally tomorrow. This could be anyone, you know. We must always encourage the better and proper treatment of each other as we are all human beings, whether we are bloggers or not.

Thanks for coming by and make sure to participate!

@ Beauty:No one is 'holding' him, but as I noted in the post, he is not free to leave the country. As such he is not truly free. In this case 'freedom' for him means the right to leave and return to his residence. his residence is in Lansing, Michigan.

If he does not have his passport, then he does not have the right to leave Nigeria and be reunited with is family in the US. As such, he is far from free.

Maybe I should put this in the body of the post for clarification.

Thanks Beauty.

Avartsy said...

I am most def. in support of the rally and will make a post on that 2moro. The SSS are just hypocrites, it's really can sb be labeled free when you can't leave. Please don't forget to add me to your list...I don't see my blog yet...!
Thanks for stopping by my blog too...

Geebee said...

I’m glad Jonathan Elendu is free at least physically. Now we need to push till his passport is free as well so he could return to his family. Man, these guys could be animals sometimes! I’m 100% with this rally. FREE JONATHAN ELENDU! I’m sure it’s gonna work.

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