Internet disrupted in Kyrgyzstan as protests break out over alleged vote rigging

Internet monitoring firm Netblocks analysed network data and confirmed a disruption of Internet services in Kyrgyzstan on 5 October 2020, after protests broke out in Bishkek, the capital city, by citizens over the alleged rigging of votes in the country’s parliamentary elections held on the previous day. The network data demonstrated a dip in connectivity levels across multiple providers and a general reduction in service speeds. The action is believed to have been sanctioned by government authorities to restrict the efforts of citizens to mobilise and protest. The report further points out that earlier in June 2020, Kyrgyzstan’s parliament passed a new law ‘On Manipulating Information’, which allows authorities to target ‘online speech that interferes with the conduct of politics in the country’.