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SERAP, YRC condemn Twitter ban, urge Commonwealth to sanction Nigeria

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Kolawole

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Secretary-General of Commonwealth, Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, to sanction Nigeria through the Commonwealth Charter over its suspension of Twitter in the country.

It said the repression of human rights, particularly the right to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom, as well as disregard for the rule of law, were becoming rampant in Nigeria.

The organisation also urged Scotland to urgently consider recommending the suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth to the Heads of Government, Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, and Queen Elizabeth II, to pressure the Nigerian government to respect and promote f human rights, transparency, accountability and the rule of law.

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In the appeal dated June 5, 2021 and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, it said: “The Nigerian government has repeatedly demonstrated that it is not committed to protecting human rights. The Commonwealth should take a clear stand to ensure accountability of institutions, freedom of expression and access to information in Nigeria.

“Nigerians can only freely participate in the democratic processes and shape the society in which they live if these fundamental human rights are fully and effectively respected, protected and promoted.”

Meanwhile, the Youth Rights Campaign (YRC) has condemned the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, describing it as “dictatorial and a direct attack on the democratic rights of Nigerians to freely express themselves.”

It charged the Federal Government to reverse the suspension without delay and to everything within its powers to abuses of democratic rights, reversal of the social media bill and all measures aimed at curtailing civil liberties of Nigerians.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Adaramoye Michael and National Secretary, Francis Nwapa, it demanded the unconditional release of all political detainees.

Specifically, the YRC canvassed the immediate release of Omoyele Sowore and other Nigerian activists, journalists, bloggers, social media users and professionals, who are being falsely accused and tried on trumped-up charges aimed at stifling free speech in the country.

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