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Rep. Bass Statement on Twitter Ban in Nigeria

June 9, 2021
Press Release
WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, issued the following statement:

"I encourage the Government of Nigeria to allow freedom of speech and expression to all of its citizens through all platforms, including Twitter. This is a way for citizens to express themselves freely. Nigeria is an economic and cultural stalwart on the continent, and the international community looks for it to set the correct example of upholding the human rights of all citizens.

"Banning Twitter or potentially arresting people for trying to use the application is a human rights violation. Millions of Nigerians use social media for political expression, but they also use it to promote businesses, sell clothing, express personal social or religious opinions, read and share the news, make friends, find people, advocate for causes, share news that is not covered by the mainstream media.

"Too many countries on the continent use internet suppression and the banning of social media to silence its citizenry because the platform allows unfettered speech and a way to hold leaders accountable. To truly have a stable and strong democracy, there cannot be internet or media suppression, and citizens must have the right to speak and use platforms freely in a peaceful manner without threat of harassment or detention."