SERAP Urges to Buhari To Reverse Hate Speech FineAfrican News, Featured, Latest News, News Across Nigeria, News From The State Wednesday, August 5th, 2020
By Nwa Diokpa
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to reverse the penalty for hate speech fine immediately.
African Examiner recalls that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, reviewed the penalty for hate speech in Nigeria.
The minister had stated that the penalty for hate speech has increased from N500,000 to N5 million.
Mohammed disclosed this at the unveiling ceremony of the reviewed Nigeria Broadcasting Code organized by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in Lagos.
In a swift reaction, SERAP in a tweet via its official Twitter handle had described the increase in hate speech fine as ‘unconstitutional and illegal,’ saying that it would curtail freedom of expression and open the door for law enforcement officials to target critics.
“We’re calling on President Buhari to immediately reverse the unconstitutional and illegal increase in ‘hate speech fine’ from N500,000 to N5m,” SERAP tweeted.
“We’ll fight to challenge this illegality in court to make sure that the fine doesn’t become another tool for repression.
“This fine would further curtail freedom of expression and open the door for law enforcement officials to target critics.
“The fine fails to meet the standards of legality, necessity and proportionality in article 19(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
“The Buhari government should be removing restrictions on freedom of expression, not imposing heavy fines that risk stifling critical public debate on important issues.
“The leadership of the National Assembly should publicly condemn this restriction on constitutional rights.”
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