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Nigeria censors documentary in growing crackdown

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 21, 2013 at 10:11 am •  Published: April 21, 2013
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The government's decision has seen more people watch the film online. It also has sparked outrage from human rights activists and press freedom groups.

"Instead of banning the documentary 'Fuelling Poverty,' authorities should look into the important questions it raises about corruption and impunity in the country's oil sector and at the highest levels of government," Mohamed Keita, an official with the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement. "We urge Nigeria's National Film and Video Censors Board to overturn this censorship order."

The move to ban the film comes as Jonathan's government, which many voted for believing he would change the engrained interests and corruption of Nigeria's government, has grown increasingly unpopular as extremists carry out bombings and the state-run power company cannot offer stable electricity. During the strikes, government officials put increasing pressure on broadcasters not to show images of protests, which at one point saw tens of thousands in the streets of Lagos.

Today, journalists at a newspaper face forgery charges over a story that claimed the presidency would try to disrupt opposition parties. Security agencies have harassed reporters at a weekly newspaper that wrote about abuses by the military in its crackdown against Islamic extremists. And workers who ran a call-in radio show in the northern city of Kano face charges over talking about rumors surrounding polio vaccinations in the wake of at least nine women vaccinators being killed.

Despite the outcry, however, the apparent crackdown continues, only fueling more of the same apathy for Nigeria's government seen by those featured in the documentary.

"We don't have government. It's a whole big banana republic," barber Emmanuel Tom Ekin says in the film. "They've been coming telling us story all the time, deceiving us. And right now, in our faces, they are still deceiving us."

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Online:

The "Fuelling Poverty" documentary: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVq10BwzQoI

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Jon Gambrell can be reached at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP .