Court Bars Nigeria From Prosecuting Twitter Users After Ban

A West African court barred Nigerian authorities from prosecuting people who’ve used Twitter Inc. after a government ban, pending a hearing next month on a lawsuit challenging the state’s suspension of the social-media network.

The ruling by the Economic Community of West African States court on Tuesday stated that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government can’t impose sanctions or do “anything whatsoever to harass, intimidate, arrest or prosecute” Twitter users, according to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project. The non-governmental organization has filed a suit against the suspension of Twitter and the criminalization of its users in Nigeria, and a hearing is scheduled for July 6.

Nigeria banned Twitter earlier this month after it deleted a tweet by the president that threatened to punish a separatist group he blames for attacks on government buildings. The state has said it will prosecute Nigerians found using the social-media network.

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