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Digital rights at risk in Sudan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo & Gabon

Author: Berhan Taye, Access Now, Published on: 24 January 2019

"Sudan, Bangladesh, DRC, Gabon start 2019 with major digital rights violations", 10 Jan 2019

As the world celebrated 2019,  Sudan, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Gabon shut down the internet, throttled services, and blocked social media, violating their peoples’ rights. In response to the situation in DRC, U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression David Kaye explained, “A general network shutdown is in clear violation of international law and cannot be justified by any means.” Particularly during elections and other periods of heightened tensions, “[s]hutdowns are damaging not only for people’s access to information, but also for their access to basic services,” said Kaye... 

The #KeepItOn coalition, with over 175 civil society organizations from 66 countries, has been working around the clock to identify, document, measure, and circumvent shutdowns...[It] also works at all levels to pressure governments to refrain from shutting down the internet, to bring legal challenges to shutdowns in national and international bodies, and to raise awareness about the impact of internet shutdowns around the world... the internet shutdown measurement community is working to expand our capacity to detect and analyze network disruptions as they happen, helping to both establish evidence of human rights violations and to deploy rapid response assistance to those affected by the block...

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