Twitter blocked in Nigeria after deleting a tweet by its president

Government says it will arrest those who try to get around the ban

Twitter has been suspended “indefinitely” in Nigeria “for continued use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence,” according to a statement (posted on twitter) from the Minister of Information and Culture of the country. The move comes days after the platform Threatened tweet removed by President Muhammadu Buhari, whom Twitter has called in violation of its “abusive behavior” policy.

On Saturday, the Office of the Attorney General of Nigeria and the Ministry of Justice said it would arrest and prosecute anyone trying to get around the block, CNN told, and directed government agencies to cooperate with prosecutors “to ensure speedy prosecution of offenders without further delay.” Several news reports said that people within Nigeria were using a VPN To try to avoid the ban and continue using Twitter.

In Buhari’s deleted tweet, He suggested that he punish separatist. “Many of the abusers today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of life during the Biafra War,” he wrote. “Those of us who have been in the field for 30 months, who have gone through war, will treat them in a language they understand.” A major general during Buhari was biafra warin which more than one lakh people were killed.

Twitter’s public policy team said in a Statement On Saturday it was “deeply concerned” and would work to restore access to Nigeria. Reuters reported On Saturday that Twitter’s website was not available on some mobile carriers in Nigeria, but appeared to be working sporadically on other carriers in the country’s two largest cities, Lagos and Abuja.

“Suspending Twitter in Nigeria is another way of saying that people’s rights don’t matter only to the state,” said Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International in Nigeria. tweeted. “This is a dangerous precedent and it should be called for.” Amnesty meets Nigerian officials To immediately reverse the suspension, “and other plans to silence the media, suppress civilian space and undermine the human rights of Nigerians.”

Twitter in April opened its first office in Africa In Ghana, considered by some as thugs in Nigeria. In its announcement, Twitter cited Ghana’s support for free speech, online freedom and the open internet as reasons for its decision. information minister of nigeria said at that time That Twitter’s decision not to locate its Africa offices in Nigeria was due to the country’s misinterpretation by the media.

According to Amnesty International’s 2020 report, Nigerian authorities “used repressive laws to harass, intimidate, arrest and detain human rights defenders, activists, media personnel and alleged critics. Non-state actors also threatened, tortured and beaten journalists.”

Update June 5th, 4:44PM ET: Adds that the Nigerian government is planning to arrest and prosecute those who try to ban Twitter.

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