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SERAP drags Senate to UN over social media bill

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an urgent appeal to David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, requesting him to “you use your good offices and position to urgently request the National Assembly of Nigeria, specifically the Senate, to withdraw a bill which if passed into law would undermine the internationally recognized right to freedom of expression and press freedom on the internet in the country”.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was copied in the urgent appeal.

In the urgent appeal dated December 3, 2015, and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni the organisation said, “We are seriously concerned that the National Assembly of Nigeria will any moment from now pass a bill to jail for two years and fine anybody or group of persons who send any alleged false text message or post false message on the social media against another person.”

Read also: Attempt to muzzle Nigeria’s social media

“SERAP is concerned that rather than increasing universal and inclusive access to the Internet for all Nigerians, the National Assembly of Nigeria is working to undermine access of citizens to the Internet.

Yet, freedom of expression entails the ability to both speak and receive information, including through the social media and other generated content services such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and chat applications,” the organisation said.

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