Nigeria rights leader blasts journalists detention

December 29, 2012 - 9:32 AM

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's National Human Rights Commission has criticized the nation's secret police for detaining two journalists for days without charges.

Commission chairman Chidi Odinkalu issued a statement Saturday saying the detention of Musa Mohammed Awwal and Aliyu Saleh, journalists with the weekly Hausa language newspaper Al-Mizan, did "not pass constitutional muster." Odinkalu called on the secretive State Security Service to allow commission staff to have access to the men, as they've been denied opportunities to meet with the lawyer or receive medical attention.

The two journalists were arrested early Monday morning at their homes in Kaduna. Their newspaper has published a series of stories about alleged military abuses and the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram.

Boko Haram is waging an increasingly bloody guerrilla fight against Nigeria's weak central government.