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4 Feb 2024

Thierno Malick Ndiaye, senego.com (Sénégal),
Access Now

Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition denounce the ongoing internet shutdown in Senegal

"#KeepItOn: Senegalese authorities must immediately reinstate mobile internet access to all", 5 février 2024

Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition denounce the ongoing internet shutdown in Senegal. In a move that suppresses human rights and democratic values in the country, the government of Senegal has once again imposed a mobile internet shutdown amid ongoing political unrest and protests following the sudden postponement of the presidential elections on Saturday, February 3, 2024...

"Cracking down on protests by shutting down internet access undermines people’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly. Internet blackouts deny people their access to critical information, spur the spread of misinformation, and escalate crises. The government of Senegal must immediately end repression, offline and online, and uphold people’s rights and civil liberties in the country", says Felicia Anthonio, #KeepIton Campain Manager at Access Now...

The Ministry of Communications, Telecommunications and Digital Economy, in a public statement, indicated that the mobile internet shutdown was necessary to curb the spread of “hateful and subversive messages” on social media, which could potentially threaten public order. This is not the first time the Senegalese authorities have struggled to justify their repressive actions that muzzle free expression in the country...

"Millions of people in Senegal have been deliberately disconnected from the rest of the world. In times of heightened political tension, access to the internet is critical and must be upheld at all times to keep people safe and connected with their families and communities", says Naro Omo-Osagie, Africa Policy and Advocacy Manager at Access Now.

Internet shutdowns are disproportionate and a violation of human rights. The government of Senegal must not normalize the use of shutdowns, and instead find an immediate and lasting solution to the country’s political crises.