Freedom of Expression and the Media

The freedom of expression and the media is a very important thematic area of focus of the Commission. The import of this aspect of human rights is felt in many ways. For instance, apart from projecting the activities of the Commission to the public, it addresses issues which ensure that the principles of expression and communication through various media including prints and electronic media, especially published materials are considered as a right to be exercised freely. 

The right to freedom of expression is a fundamental human right which is contained in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and it states: “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the rights includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. The right to freedom of expression is also contained in chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and other International Human Rights Instruments which Nigeria is a party.

The exercise of this right is essential for guaranteeing human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Without free expression and free media, violations of human rights may remain hidden with the propensity to give rise to impunity and continuous violations. 

So, the Commission encourages the exercise of this right to enable citizens to fully enjoy their fundamental human rights as enshrined in various national, regional and international human rights instruments.