Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression asking him to his use your good offices and position to “publicly press the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the entire leadership of the Senate of Nigeria to immediately withdraw a bill which aims to undermine constitutionally and internationally recognized media freedom in the country.”
The Senate has passed the bill for second reading despite subsisting court case and strong opposition to it.
But in a petition dated 27 July 2018 and signed by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale, the organization said, “Criminalising media freedom would not only violate the rights of journalists and media practitioners to carry out their legitimate work but undermine the ability of Nigerians and others in the country to be informed on events of critical importance and participate in the governance process. The bill would escalate the growing threats and attacks on the right to freedom of expression and media freedom and have a powerful chilling effect across the country.”
The organization also said, “The proposed bill by the Senate is a major threat to media independence and diversity in the country and shows lack of understanding of the essential role of independent media in the sustainability of the country’s democratic dispensation. SERAP believes that a free and independent media would facilitate public participation, governmental accountability and improve democratic institutions.”...