surprise surprise… a shit law is making life shitty… who could’ve seen that coming (probably you)…
On today’s episode of Don’t Say That!!!
Apparently, a law in Nigeria was passed whose language is so broad it allows people to charge others criminally if they annoy them…
I wish I were making that up…
But no, here’s the Committee to Protect Journalists article on the whole affair…
Since Nigeria’s cybercrime act was voted into law in May 2015 authorities have used the accusation of cyber stalking to harass and press charges against at least five bloggers who criticized politicians and businessmen online and through social media.
Cyber stalking, which falls under Section 24 of the act, carries a fine of up to 7 million naira (USD$22,000) and a maximum three-year jail term for anyone convicted of knowingly sending an online message that “he knows to be false, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another.”
Last month, the law was cited in the August 20 arrest of Musa Babale Azare who was detained in the capital, Abuja, by police from Bauchi state. He was accused of allegedly criticising the state governor, Muhammad Abdullah Abubakar, on social media, according to news reports. Azare, who uses Facebook and Twitter as platforms to criticize the actions and policies of Abubakar and his administration, said he was denied access to his lawyer, and that police did not have authority to arrest him outside Bauchi state jurisdiction.
That’s not disturbing at all!
This obviously has a wide impact on the journalism and artistic communities (seeing as they talk a lot) in Nigeria and for those travelling to Nigeria as well for that matter.
It will not only lead to the direct suppression of speech it’ll have the indirect effect of chilling speech as well (people will hold their tongues to instead of speaking). Who wants to say even the blandest of criticisms when they can be locked up for annoying somebody? I sure don’t and I doubt Nigerians will either.
This is just another sad example of arrogant and childish individuals trying to raise themselves up by hurting everybody around them. God forbid anybody ever take criticism to heart. God forbid anybody ever try to make the world a better place. God forbid anybody try to stop corruption and crime from being tolerated.
The ‘shut up or I’ll shut you up‘ approach continues.
And that’s sad.
This has been another episode of Don’t Say That! Bringing you news of shitty anti-speech behavior since right now.