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Amnesty Launches Freedom of Expression Campaign

Amnesty International Nigeria has launched #TalkYourTruth – a campaign to protect freedom of expression in Nigeria. The campaign was launched at a time when critics,…

Amnesty International Nigeria has launched #TalkYourTruth – a campaign to protect freedom of expression in Nigeria.

The campaign was launched at a time when critics, journalists and individuals who express dissenting views face intimidation, threats and sometimes arrest by security forces.

In a statement on Monday, the human rights group said on many occasions, Nigerian authorities have continued to respond with violence and threats to individuals and groups who express dissenting opinions.

“Law enforcement agencies often fail to protect the right to freedom of expression, endangering the lives of those who dare to criticize authorities, those in power or institutions,” said Osai Ojigho, Director Amnesty International, Nigeria.

“It is unacceptable that in Nigeria those who exercise freedom of expression through critical opinions sometimes face threats, verbal and physical assault, indiscriminate arrest, torture, detention and prosecution through trumped-up charges and abuse of the Cybercrime and Anti-Terrorism laws. Nigerians must be free to express opinions without fear.

“The #TalkYourTruth campaign is aimed at protecting the right to freedom of expression and documenting cases of intimidation, arrest or threats to those who express opinions government, people or group of people may find offensive. Government must tolerate unfavorable views and see critical voices as the good citizens exercising their human right.

“With the launch of the #TalkYourTruth campaign, we are urging the Nigerian authorities to show tangible commitment to freedom and also to immediately and unconditionally drop frivolous charges against those persecuted solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression. Those who express opinions others find offensive must be protected from the threats of state and non-state actors. Intimidating radio and television stations that broadcast critical opinions with threats of fine or closure must end. It is the duty of authorities to ensure that people can freely express critical opinions, without fear of reprisals.”

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