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Press freedom organisations urge Nigeria to keep Internet on during election period

Supporters of the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Democratic Party (PDP), sit in front of the local campaign office in Port Harcourt, southern Nigeria, 15 February 2019
Supporters of the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Democratic Party (PDP), sit in front of the local campaign office in Port Harcourt, southern Nigeria, 15 February 2019

YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

This statement was originally published on africafex.org on 15 February 2019.

The African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) has joined other global press freedom organisations to call on the government of Nigeria to ensure that access to the Internet, social media platforms, SMS and all other associated communication services is unrestricted throughout the electioneering period.

The call was contained in a letter signed by 16 press freedom groups of the #KeepItOn coalition across the globe and addressed to the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The petitioners highlighted the need for the authorities to keep the Internet on as it is an enabler of other rights including freedom of expression and access to information.

Earlier this month on February 1, 2019, the government denied claims that it was planning to shut down the Internet during the country's federal elections.

Nigeria's presidential elections is scheduled for tomorrow, February 16, 2019.

You can access a copy of the letter submitted to the NCC here.

Members of AFEX:

Africa Freedom of Information Centre
Association for Media Development in South Sudan
Center for Media Studies and Peace Building
Freedom of Expression Institute
Human Rights Network for Journalists - Uganda
Institute for Media and Society
International Press Centre
Journaliste en danger
Media Foundation for West Africa
Media Institute of Southern Africa
Media Rights Agenda
West African Journalists Association

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