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You can’t block social media – UN tells IGP

social_media_police__hajoThe United Nations (UN) has indicated that it would not endorse any attempts to block social media networks in Ghana during elections. Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWA) has said.

The Inspector General of Police, Dr John Kudalor at a recent meeting with journalists indicated that the police was considering blocking social media across Ghana on Election Day as part of measures to maintain the peace.

The revelation has been met with criticism from many Ghanaians with some arguing that the move would infringe on free expression. Dr Ibn Chambas commenting on the move said he agreed with the critics of such a “block” saying that any such move will restrict democratic space and curtail freedom of expression.

“I should say without hesitation that from a UN point of view, we would be obviously averse to any steps that will amount to restricting the democratic space, particularly any steps that will be taken to restrict the freedom of expression,” he emphasised.

Dr Ibn Chambas, whilst acknowledging that social media, “for good or bad,” are some of the modes of expression of free speech in democratic societies, cautioned that “a total ban would obviously not be something the UN would encourage.”

He disclosed, “We [UN officials] have a scheduled meeting with the IGP to seek a clarification as to exactly what he might have meant.”

Source: Graphic
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