Written by Chuks NZEH

Global Rights to Senate: ‘Hate Speech Bill to gag press’

International right's group, Global Rights, has said that the proposed Hate Speech Bill is aimed at gagging the media, and should not be condoned.

The group has embarked on a sustained campaign to sensitize Nigerians on the need to mobilize against the bill which is slated for public hearing later this Monday.

Executive Director, Global Rights, Mr. Abiodun Baiyewu, said that there are laws in Nigeria to address the concerns of those proposing the bills, like defamation, libel and slander, even the Cyber Crimes Act

She said that there is need to implement existing laws and not create more laws that might end up restricting freedom of speech, and press freedom in the country, insisting that Nigerians and the media need the freedom to express themselves about how they feel about the country.

Also in a statement by Amaka Obi of the communication office of Global Rights, she averred that the bill will restrict access to public records and limit media space.

Obi noted that, "The Anti-Social Media Bill otherwise known as Protection from Internet Falsehood & Manipulations Bill, was introduced by the Nigerian Senate to gag the digital media space.

"The Anti-Social Media Bill otherwise known as Protection from Internet Falsehood & Manipulations Bill, was introduced by the Nigerian Senate to gag the digital media space. Curtailing free speech means that access to information could be either controlled/doctored by the government at best, or simply non-existent at worst.”

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