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Nigeria’s Death Penalty For Hate Speech Barbaric — UN

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The United Nations has condemned the death penalty clause in the proposed National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill, describing it as barbaric.

Spokesman, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Mr Olusola Macaulay, in an interview on Thursday, said the global body would not support the bill, noting that a UNESCO advocacy group, Media and Information Literacy Coalition, would soon meet with the National Assembly over the proposed legislation.

“We are trying to pay an advocacy visit to the government and do some lobbying. There is a coalition working already, it was formed with the support of UNESCO.

“They are working to meet with the National Assembly to express their mind and possibly advise the government to have a different narrative to the issue of hate speech and fake news.”

“The UN would lobby the Federal Government on the legislation. What is needed is public enlightenment and education about hate speech and not a law stipulating the death penalty for violators.

“I’m not sure what the government needs now is a bill or an idea to shut down people or prevent people from being able to express themselves or express their freedom of thought or information. What I think the government should do more is to enlighten the people,” he said.

The UN agency said most Nigerians were ignorant of issues relating to media and information literacy, noting that a harsh law was not the solution to the challenge.

The global body noted, “Every human being has the right to life and you cannot cut off people’s lives just because someone has expressed his opinion. Nobody is saying hate speech is good

Credit: Punch

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