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6 Aug 2019

Civil society groups call on MTN Group to denounce internet shutdowns in Sudan & support unfettered internet access; MTN did not respond

An internet shutdown in Sudan persisted for more than five weeks, beginning June 3, 2019, when government forces carried out a large-scale attack on protesters in Khartoum, killing more than 100 people and injuring hundreds more. MTN Sudan and other telecommunications companies allegedly blocked access to the internet through disruption of various local and roaming cellular data networks, as well as some fixed-line services.

Access Now, African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms Coalition, Article 19 East Africa, Witness, and 19 other civil society groups have stated that by implementing these blocks, MTN Sudan and others contributed to the government's interference with the exercise of human rights, including the freedoms of expression, association, and assembly, as well as press freedom, and prevented people from accessing emergency medical services, putting lives at risk. These civil society groups have called on MTN Group and MTN Sudan to denounce the internet shutdowns in Sudan and pledge their support to maintain unfettered internet access in the country. 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited MTN Group to respond; it did not.