The United Nations Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas has stated that the UN would not support the social media ban on election day reportedly being considered by the Inspector General of Police.
Opting to tread cautiously, Dr Ibn Chambas who came on a fact-finding mission to Ghana, said during a media engagement that he was expecting to have a meeting with the Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor, during which the IGP would clarify reports that a social media ban on election day was being considered.
“I want to be able to hear from the IGP before I jump to any conclusion that a decision has been taken.”
He however added the UN would not support such action:
“I should say without hesitation from UN point of view that we would be obviously averse to any steps that would amount to restricting the democratic space, particularly any steps that would be taken to restrict the freedom of expression; and today social media for good or for bad is one of the modes of expression for free speech in democratic societies. It has its negative sides, obviously a lot of good sides to it too, but a total ban would not obviously be something the UN would encourage.”
“We will certainly be discussing this issue but that is not a part that the UN would encourage because the UN stands for peace, for development and human rights. There can be no peace without development, no sustainable development without peace. And you cannot have both without human rights. So the emphasis on human rights is very important for the UN,” he said.
By Emmanuel Odonkor
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