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Nigeria will arrest and prosecute users who violate the Twitter ban

Illustrations for the article titled Nigeria Arrests and Prosecutes Users Trying to Surround Their Ban Ban Twitter

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A day after banning Twitter, Nigeria announced that authorities had arrested and prosecuted users who tried to use the social network, that the app and website were still available to some in the country on Saturday despite the prohibition.

A spokesman for Abubakar Malami, Nigeria’s attorney general and justice minister, on Saturday revealed the government’s new position, which applies to both individuals and organizations using Twitter, according to CNN. The Nigerian government suspended Twitter indefinitely on Friday because of “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence,” he said. local and international condemnation.

The move came after the social network leaked a tweet from the country’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, for violating his policy of abusive behavior. Although Buhari’s deleted tweet was not mentioned as a reason for the ban, it is seen by some to be the revenge of the government for the actions of Twitter.

Earlier this week, Buhari posted a tweet threatening to punish people in the southeastern region of the country who had secessionist views. CNN remarks that Buhari blames secessionists for the frequent attacks on public infrastructure here.

“Many of those who misbehave today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of life that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the camps for 30 months, who have spent the war, the they will deal in the language they understand, ”the president wrote in the now deleted tweet.

Buhari’s message refers to the two-year Nigeria-Biafra War, which took place from 1967-1970. The conflict aims to create an independent state of Biafra for the Igbo ethnic group. It is estimated that between one and three million people died in the war. The effort ended in defeat for the separatists, which ultimately resu in Nigeria.

Ironically, the country announced that Twitter has been banned on Twitter.

Twitter’s public policy team he said Saturday who was deeply concerned about the blockade of the platform in Nigeria.

“Free Internet access and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society,” he said on Twitter. “We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world.”

Gizmodo contacted Twitter on Sunday to ask if it had any additional comments on the ban or reaction to news that the country had criminally prosecuted people using the platform. Twitter said it had no further comment on the statement its public policy team released Saturday.

On the international scene, Amnesty International criticized Nigeria the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government and said the platform has been widely used by the people of the country to exercise their rights of freedom of expression and access to information.

“We call on the #Nigerian authorities to immediately reverse the illegal suspension and other plans to undermine the media, repress the civic space and undermine the human rights of Nigerians,” Amnesty International Nigeria said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Olumide Akpata, the president of the Nigerian Bar Association, he said that the government had no constitutional or legal authority to support the ban, arguing that such arbitrary decisions would damage investor confidence at a time when the country’s economy is struggling.

If the decision is not immediately overturned, he said the association would take legal action.

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