Amnesty International has strongly opposed the Nigerian government’s call to regulate the use of social media and online stations.
Recall that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, urged the House of Representatives to include the regulation of Twitter in the Law of the National Broadcasting Commission.
The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organized by the House Information Committee.
“I want to add that specifically, webcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have a responsibility to monitor content, including Twitter,” he said.
In reaction, Amnesty International in a tweet via its Twitter account on Thursday, opposed the motion.
He noted that when social media is regulated, authorities may have arbitrary powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.
In addition, he noted that criticism of the government will be punished with sentences of up to three years in prison.
“When social media is regulated, authorities may have arbitrary powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.
“Criticizing the government will be punishable by up to three years in prison.
“Nigerian social media regulation could easily be abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone asking tough questions could be held liable for ‘lowering public trust in government.’
“Searching for a law that prohibits abusive, threatening and insulting behavior is open to a very broad interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary, ”the statement added.
Amnesty International calls for immediate repeal of Nigeria’s Twitter ban