TikTokers caned and ordered to wash toilets as court rules they defamed Nigerian governor
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Nigerian television showed one of the so-called “tiktok” protesters being led out of court after a judge struck down their right to parade, as activists celebrated their victory. The judge ruled to uphold a decision not to ban the so-called “antifa” group from marching in the capital.
NIGERIA’S leading opposition coalition and the main opposition party had warned that the use of a megaphone would be illegal because of a new government law. But in a case that could have broad implications for future protests, the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN) has ruled that the use of megaphones is legal.
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The SCN ruling comes after two men were arrested in a Nigerian police operation last November that was widely condemned as anti-government. One was a journalist, Kabbane Shama, who was arrested after he recorded riot police officers beating up protesters who staged demonstrations against then Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. The other was an activist named Bala Balogun. Kabbane was also tortured during his arrest, according to his lawyer. Balogun has accused police of being in league with Jonathan’s government to “suppress the opposition.” The SCN ordered an appeal on the legality of Balogun’s speech, but his case was thrown out.
The SCN said it was ordering Bala’s release because the police had not yet charged him. But a prosecutor said in court today that he was still facing trial and ordered him released.
Earlier today, the SCN announced that it would hand down a verdict that will determine whether the so-called “tiktok” protesters can parade with megaphones again. They were ordered not to use the megaphones after security officials said they breached the law.
In 2008, the Nigerian government banned “antifa” protests after police violently broke up demonstrations against Jonathan and his government. Antifa protesters were accused of being communists. Today, the SCN said the groups were not banned. The SCN also ruled that the two men arrested in November were not in the “antifa” group of protesters.