Tell The Military To Stop Monitoring Nigerians On Social Media - SERAP Tells Buhari

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari. In the open letter, SERAP requested him to “use your good offices and leadership position to instruct the military authorities to immediately end any monitoring of activities of Nigerians on the social media.
 The letter was dated 25 August 2017 and signed by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale the organization. According to Vanguard, n the letter, the body expressed “serious concern that any monitoring of Nigerians on social media by the military authorities would directly violate the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and privacy online.

 “Instructing the military to end any such monitoring would help your government to defend and keep to its oft-repeated commitment to human rights, transparency and accountability.” The organization’s letter followed reported statement by the Director of Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche that the activities of Nigerians on the social media are now being monitored for hate speech, anti-government and anti-security information by the military.

The organization’s letter said in part: “Monitoring of the social media by the military is neither necessary nor proportionate, and could portray your government as working to control the political and social media space. “Classifying legitimate exercise of freedom of expression as ‘hate speech’ is counter-productive, In exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and privacy, Nigerians should be allowed to speak truth to power and stand up for their rights.
“Monitoring Nigerians on social media would criminalize their freedom and the activity of journalists that are critical of the government and censor the media from reporting on sensitive and critical information that is relevant to the public interest but controversial to the government. “It would have a chilling effect on media activities in Nigeria, and pose a serious threat to the ability of Nigerians to meaningfully participate in their own government.”

 “To monitor Nigerians’ access to social media solely on the basis that it may be used to express views critical of the government or the political social system espoused by the government is entirely incompatible and inconsistent with constitutional guarantees and Nigeria’s international human rights obligations and commitments.” “SERAP notes that protecting critical expression on the Internet is the standard by which governments are now held to be considered genuinely democratic.

“Nigerians should therefore be allowed to discuss government policies and engage in political debate; report on corruption in government; and exercise their right to expression of opinion and dissent. “While we recognize the obligation to protect against hate speech that constitutes incitement to hostility, discrimination or violence, this should not be used as a pretext to clampdown on legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression that does not constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”

Meanwhile, Naijaloaded earlier reported that he federal government has dismissed reports circulating on the social media that it has mandated that ministry of interior to monitor and record all phone calls and social media posts made by citizens. The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, described the reports as false and misleading.
Tell The Military To Stop Monitoring Nigerians On Social Media - SERAP Tells Buhari Tell The Military To Stop Monitoring Nigerians On Social Media - SERAP Tells Buhari Reviewed by InoutNaija Staff on 13:59:00 Rating: 5


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