SERAP asks FG to rescind ‘illegal’ suspension of Twitter

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SERAP

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the “illegal and unconstitutional suspension of Twitter’s Operations in Nigeria,” and called on “the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately rescind the suspension within 48 hours or face legal action.”

The Federal Government on Friday announced that it had suspended, indefinitely, the operations of microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria. This was announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Adeyemi.

But SERAP in a statement by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare said: “The suspension of Twitter in Nigeria is a blatant violation of Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression and access to information. The suspension has the character of collective punishment and is contrary to Nigeria’s international obligations. President Buhari must immediately rescind this unconstitutional suspension. We will see in court if the suspension is not rescinded within 48 hours.”

The statement, read in part: “Suspending Twitter in Nigeria would deny Nigerians’ access to information, and disrupt the free exchange of ideas and the ability of individuals to connect with one another and associate peacefully on matters of shared concern. It would also seriously undermine the ability of Nigerians to promote transparency and accountability in the country, and to participate in their own government.”

“We call on the Nigerian authorities to guarantee the constitutionally and internationally recognized human rights of Nigerians including online. Deletion of President Buhari’s tweets should never be used as a pretext to suppress the civic space and undermine Nigerians’ fundamental human rights.”

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