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Sowore's wife, Opeyemi, and Senator Menendez

US senator Bob Menendez condemns harassment & rearrest of Omoyele Sowore in Nigeria

7 December 2019

Senator Bob Menendez, Democrat, New Jersey, and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, has issued the following statement after Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and New Jersey resident, was rearrested in dramatic scenes in Nigeria. Sowore was first arrested in August and was released yesterday, after the Nigerian government ignored two court orders. But he was rearrested a few hours later.

Menendez’s statement reads:

I am outraged by the blatant harassment of Omoyele Sowore, an activist and journalist whose only crime appears to be exercising his right to free expression.

“In a concerted effort to secure his release on behalf of the Sowore family living in New Jersey, my office has been working closely with the State Department as Mr. Sowore’s case languished following his arbitrary arrest back in August. While we continue to seek immediate answers about Mr. Sowore’s treatment and conditions in jail, I will be further engaging directly with U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard in Abuja to raise this case at the highest levels of the Nigerian government so the Buhari Administration gets the message that we are committed to defending Mr. Sowore’s rights and securing his release. 

“This blatant miscarriage of justice is symptomatic of closing political and media space in Nigeria.”

Watch a joint presser with Menendez and Sowore’s wife below.

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