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No, Nigeria’s controversial Hate Speech Bill doesn’t define hate speech as criticism of government

Latsa nan don karanta wannan rohoton da Hausa. Click here to read this report in Hausa.

A Facebook post claims Nigeria’s proposed law against hate speech, hotly debated and popularly known as the Hate Speech Bill, defines “hate speech” as any criticism of the government or peaceful protest against state corruption, nepotism, criminal activity and the like.

The bill has not yet become law. Its full title is the National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill. Until recently, it proposed the death penalty as the ultimate form of punishment for hate speech.

The 13 November 2019 post reads: “The Senate Definition Of Hate Speech Is When You Talk Against The APC Government, Jubril-Buhari, The Cabals, The Police, The Army, DSS, The Senate Or Stand Up To Lead A Peaceful Protest Against Corruption, Nepotism, Crime, Injustice, Lawlessness, Bad Government, Illegal Arrest, Extrajudicial Killings By The Nigerian Armed Forces, Etc.”

It was posted on 13 November 2019 and has so far attracted more than 700 shares and 300 comments.

“So If You're Found Guilty For Doing Any Of This, According To The Senate That's Hate Speech And The Penalty Is A Death Sentence,” it continues.

“They Have A Bill To Sentence Anyone Who Stand Against Injustice, Lawlessness, Corruption, Bad Government, Police Brutality To Death By Hanging For Hate Speech On Facebook, Twitter And Instagram. This Is Nigeria.”



How does bill define hate speech?


The original version of the bill defines hate speech as “material written and/or visual which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour commits an offence if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up against any person or person from such an ethnic group in Nigeria”.

It proposes that any person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provides, distributes and/or directs the performance of such material “shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging”.

Some Nigerians have expressed concern about the government using the bill, if it becomes law, against its critics.

But the bill does not define hate speech as speaking out against the government.  

Removal of death penalty


And after facing weeks of criticism, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, the bill’s sponsor, bowed to pressure and declared that his proposed legislation would be amended to remove the death penalty as the maximum punishment for offenders. – Allwell Okpi





Dokar haramta kalaman batanci bata fassara kalaman batanci a matsayin kalaman suka ga gwamnati ba


A wani rubutu da aka wallafa a shafin sada zumunta na Facebook wanda ke cewa dokar da ake shirin samarwa ta haramta kalaman batanci, wadda ake ta muhawara akan ta, aka kuma yi mata lakabi da dokar hana kalaman batanci, ta fassara ‘kalaman batanci’ a matsayin kowanne kalami da ya soki gwamnati ko wata zanga-zangar lumana da za’ayi don nuna rashin goyan bayan rashawa a jihohi, nuna bambanci, aikata laifuka da makamantan su.

Dokar dai har yanzu ba’a zartar da ita ba. Kudurin na da taken hukumar hana kalaman batanci ta kasa. Dokar na son zartar da hukuncin kisa ga duk wanda aka samu da sabawa dokar.

Rubutun wanda aka wallafa shi a ranar 13 ga watan Nuwamba 2019 na cewa: “Majalisar dokokin na nufin duk wata magana da zata soki gwamnatin APC, Jubrin- Buhari, yan sanda, sojoji, jami’an tsaro na farin kaya, sanatoci, ko duk lokacin da ku ka mike don yin zanga-zanga cikin lumana don nuna rashin goyan bayan rashawa, nuna bambanci, aikata laifuka, rashin adalchi, rashin doka, adawa da gwamnatin da bata yin aikin da ya kamata, kashe- kashe da sauran su."

An buga rubutun a ranar 13 ga Nuwamba, rubutun ya samu tsokaci har sama da dari uku yayin da mutane sama da dari bakwai suka rarraba rubutun.

“Idan an sa mu mutum na aikata wani daga cikin abubuwan da aka lissafo toh fa an same su da kalaman batanci, hukuncin kisa ya hau kansu," a cewar rubutun.

“Sun fitar da kuduri hukunta masu yaki da zalunchi, rashawa, karya doka, gwamnatin da bata aikin da ya kamata, zalunci daga jami’an tsaro. Kisa ta hanyar rataya ga wadanda suka rubuta kalaman batanchi a kafafen Facebook, Twitter da Instagram. Najeriya kenan."



Ya ya kudurin ya fassara kalaman batanci


Ainihin kudurin ya fassara kalaman batanci a matsayin “duk abun da akayi a rubuce ko a bayyane ana kallo wanda ke kunshe da barazana ko zagi ko nuna wata halayya, kuma akayi don assasa kiyayya tsakanin kabilu mabambanta, wadda ka iya jawo tashin hankali tsakanin kabilun Najeriya."

Dokar ta bada shawarar cewa duk wanda aka samu yayi amfani, ya buga, ya gabatar, ya samar, ya rarraba ko aka samu hannun su a ciki ta kowacce hanya zasu iya samun hukuncin daurin rai da rai. Idan kuma wadannan kalamai suka jawo asarar rai mutum ka iya samun hukuncin kisa ta hanyar rataya.

Yan Najeriya sun nuna damuwar su kan kada gwamnati tayi amfani da dokar akan masu sukan al’amuran su.

Gwamnati bata fassara kalaman batanchi a matsayin kalaman sukar gwamnati ba.

Cire hukunchin kisa


Bayan makonni da dama ana sukar kudurin, Sanata Sabi Abdullahi wanda ya dau nauyin kudurin, ya hakura ya ce za’a gyara kuduri don cire hukunchin kisan, wanda shi ne matsananci a cikin a hukuncin da za’a yiwa wadanda suka saba dokar. – Allwell Okpi




 

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