Access to Good Health Initiative (AGHI), a human rights/public health community-based organization in Nigeria has issued an official executive open letter condemning the defamatory article written by one Chioma Igbokwe concerning the 40 men that were arrested and arraigned to have allegedly engaged in ‘homosexual activities’ by the Lagos State Government.
Igbokwe’s article was published in the Daily SUN Newspaper and it appeared in both its print and on its website. It was met with criticisms from many including human rights groups for its false claims and inaccurate representation of facts. It was also found to be defamatory, unprofessional, and with no consideration or observation of journalistic ethics.
Read below the open letter from Access to Good Health Initiative (AGHI).
AN OPEN LETTER TO CHIOMA IGBOKWE FROM DAILY SUN NEWS PAPER
Dear Chioma Igbokwe,
The article you released on the 19th of August, 2017 titled HIV EPIDEMIC LOOMS goes a long way to buttress the decay in the Nigerian information system where any information can be released and circulated without facts and plastered with lies just to make it appealing and a good read. You forget that this same article that you have circulated as a good read have trampled upon fundamental human rights and has defamed the personalities of the individuals you mentioned their names therein, especially in the areas you labeled them homosexuals and HIV positive going against the HIV/AIDS anti-discrimination act 2014. You didn’t just label them homosexuals and HIV positive, you went ahead to claim that they are on a spree to infect members of the society. This is libel and defamation of character in the highest order and I am most disappointed that a news company such as Sun News Paper will print and circulate such horrendous lies.
This article of yours has gone a long way to psychologically affect those mentioned within and I will be surprised if their family members and other concerned organizations don’t take this up in court. This article will also affect how the general public perceives people living with HIV and the consequences will affect HIV intervention in Nigeria. Before such an article is released, reasonable information should have been gathered from the court and well informed organizations working in health/HIV sector. If this was done, all the falsehood in your article wouldn’t have been imminent.
Access to Good Health Initiative as a health/human rights organization concerned with good health and human rights of Nigerians totally condemn this article of yours and we are hoping to engage our team of legal practitioners and partner organization working in health and human rights sector to take necessary actions to stop a repeat of such obnoxious reporting. I advise you to quickly issue a counter message to address the catastrophic consequences you have ignited. As a journalist guided by the journalism code to report only fact based information, I advise you to do the needful. Best Regards
Access to Good Health Initiative
Access to Good Health Initiative (AGHI) is a human rights/public health community-based organization in Nigeria founded in January 2014. AGHI was born out of passion to reduce the prevalence of HIV and other STI amongst sexual minorities and other marginalized populations.
To learn more about them, visit: http://www.accesstogoodhealthinitiative.com