UN Human Rights Council calls on Sudan authorities to end network shutdown

33111329848 e1f40c3fed zSudan’s ongoing internet shutdown is a gross violation of human rights and should be lifted immediately, Human Rights Watch has said

Disruptions to access escalated over the past week and the country is now almost entirely cut off from the Internet after forces violently attacked and dispersed protesters.

The council has stated that the authorities in Sudan should immediately restore access to the Internet. The council has pointed out that the Internet is vital for emergency communications, including information from health care providers, and to access other basic information in times of crisis.

Priyanka Motaparthy, acting emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, added, “If the Transitional Military Council genuinely intends to restore peace and maintain goodwill with civilian opposition leaders, it should reverse this dangerous shutdown, which puts even more lives at risk.”

“These shutdowns blatantly repress the rights of the people the military council claims it wants to have a dialogue with,” she noted.

Activists began reporting mobile internet disruptions on 3 June, when government forces carried out an attack on the sit-in in Khartoum, killing dozens of people.

The attack followed weeks of growing tensions as negotiations stalled between the military council and opposition groups over the formation of a civilian-led transitional government, following the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir on April.

Officials should not use broad, indiscriminate shutdowns to curtail the flow of information, or to harm civilians’ ability to freely assemble and express political views, Human Rights Watch explained.

“No one is going to believe that a government that has repeatedly blocked this crucial avenue of communication is otherwise dealing with protesters in a proportionate, rights-respecting manner,” Motaparthy remarked.

“There is simply no legitimate justification for this overbroad measure that is designed to repress the exercise of fundamental rights,” she concluded.

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?