Media Rights Agenda (MRA) on Tuesday condemned the blocking of websites associated with End SARS protests by Nigerian authorities.
It called the action a dictatorship and a brazen violation of the operators’ rights, as well as suppression of Nigerians who get information from the platforms.
In a statement by Chioma Nwaodike, Head of Legal Department, MRA contended that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was engaging in illegality and disrespecting international human right laws.
The organisation insisted that the blocking of the websites cannot be a proportionate response to any offensive content that any of them may have published.
MRA said as a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Nigeria is bound by Article 19 of the instrument which requires that any restriction on the right to freedom of expression must be prescribed by law and pursue a legitimate aim.
Nwaodike accused the Nigerian government of “going down a frightening path by adopting a highhanded measure of maintaining an information blackout in a democratic country”.
She warned that the situation was “a usual feature of governments that are leaning towards extreme dictatorship”.
“Even if the operators of the websites have committed any offence, by blocking the websites without reference to the courts or the due process of law, the Nigerian government has constituted itself into an accuser, a judge and executioner,” the statement added.