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Banditry: You’re punishing Nigerians with network shutdown – SERAP to Buhari

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The Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Challenge (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, and the Nigerian Communications Fee (NCC) to reverse the suspension of telecommunication companies in Katsina and Zamfara states.

“The suspension is a type of collective punishment of Nigerians resident in these states. Shutdowns ought to by no means turn into an entrenched apply within the nation”, SERAP mentioned in an open letter.

In an announcement signed by Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation mentioned community disruptions with out authorized justification is inconsistent with the rules of necessity and proportionality.

SERAP famous that the motion suggests a disturbing development, given the rising restriction of civic house in Nigeria.

Admitting the authorities have a obligation to guard the rights to life and property, “such duty should be discharged in conformity with constitutional and worldwide human rights requirements”.

The letter mentioned shutdowns exert vital chilling results, with direct implications on participatory democracy, whose existence relies upon upon an lively and knowledgeable citizenry able to partaking with a variety of concepts.

“Shutdowns generate all kinds of harms to human rights, financial exercise, public security and emergency companies that outweigh the purported advantages.

“The suspension has the potential to have an effect on hundreds of thousands of web and telecommunication customers in these states, and people on the margins of society are most impacted by it,” it learn.

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“Whereas checking the actions of bandits/terrorists’ could possibly be seen as justification, the authorities have to this point failed to indicate how shutting down telecommunication networks is critical to attain the said functions.”

SERAP mentioned the imposition of restrictions must be guided by the target of facilitating the proper, relatively than searching for pointless and disproportionate limitations on it.

The rights physique insists restrictions should not be discriminatory, impair the essence of the proper, or be geared toward inflicting a chilling impact.

SERAP warned that if the community shutdown in Katsina and Zamfara shouldn’t be reversed inside 7 days, it might take all applicable authorized actions within the public curiosity.

The letter identified the 2011 Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and the web which emphasised that chopping of web “for populations or segments of the general public can by no means be justified, together with on public order or nationwide safety grounds”.

It added that the African Fee on Human and Peoples’ Rights affirmed the precept of non-interference with entry to web and telecommunication networks.

Shehu Sani reacts as FG shuts down telecom companies in Zamfara

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