A legal challenge has already been compiled and will be filed in the High Court this week to challenge the government’s decision to temporary ban Facebook from Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare announced yesterday in Parliament that his government is pushing ahead with the temporary suspension citing bullying, abuse and threat to national security as some of his reasons. He says the suspension will come into force once all deliberations with stakeholders are completed. Sogavare confirms Facebook will be blocked from Solomon Islands until a legislation is in place.
But whilst Sogavare is still planning and pushing to shutdown Facebook, he will not be left unchallenged on the way.
Fresh from hearing the PM’s latest statement yesterday, one individual who has already defeated the State in a court battle over Facebook is challenging the Sogavare Government’s decision this time round.
Peterson Boso, who is popular for his posts on Sore Boko, is the frontline man challenging the government.
“Yes my lawyers are putting together our challenge. We will challenge the government on behalf of the people. I feel the government is wrong but the only way to proof that is via the high court,” Boso told SBMOnline this morning.
Two months ago Boso walked free of the Court after the judge found that there was no law to govern Facebook in Solomon Islands to deal with his case. Boso posted on his FB page that Solomon Islands now had its first case of COVID-19 but during that time there were still the cases in the country. The State claimed Boso’s post was in breach of the State of Public Emergency but they failed to proof that in court.
Today, Boso is leading the charge against the government and is challenging the government in court for what he considered as an unlawful action.
He said the government’s role is to make law to control users of FB, administrator of pages etc.
“But to ban it now is going to far. We have a Telecommunication Commission that deals with service providers such as Telekom and Bmobile,” he said.
Boso adds that there is currently no law and so to suspend or ban FB now is unconstitutional per se.
“The law permits that our rights can be restricted only if prescribed by law. So far there is no applicable law. See, only the Court can declare that the government’s decision infringes our rights. And only to extent or degree of infringement the court can declare that government’s decision is inconsistent with the Constitution,” said the owner of Sore Boko page.
According Boso’s lawyers they will be filing a restraining order against DCGA to stop them from suspending Facebook.
The government decision has been very unpopular and the many Facebook users have gone to the social media platform to criticize the government.