Rights group, Amnesty International has warned the Nigerian Government on the danger of the hate speech and social media bills before the National Assembly, describing the proposals as repressive and dangerous.
The group expressed its concern in a statement on Wednesday by Isa Sanusi, AI’s Media Manager in Nigeria.
AI said, “These bills, supported by the Nigerian Government, represent an alarming escalation in the authorities’ attempt to censor and punish social media users for freely expressing their opinions.
“The proposed National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill, and the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation and other Related Offences Bill, give authorities arbitrary powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media, and make criticising government punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.”
AI therefore warned government against implementing the bill, which it says will “shrink the civic space and create a climate of fear”.