Internet shutdown in Sudan amid reports of human rights violations

On 3 June, NetBlock reported Internet disruptions, the same day that the Rapid Support Forces clamped down on Sudanese demonstrations. According to NetBlock, the restrictions targeted service providers which, in turn, adversely impacted Internet connectivity. The shutdown was described as ‘a near-total restriction on the flow of information in and out of Sudan.’ It was also reported that the military leadership has, for the first time, admitted to shutting down the Internet. The Internet outage affected Facebook users who count mostly on it to organise demonstrations. However, the Facebook page of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia remained active during the shutdown which suggested they use fixed Internet connections. In response, the Sudanese people launched a petition campaign requesting that Facebook remove the RSF page which promotes violence against the pro-democracy demonstrations. Disruptions to social media and media censorship have been reported since December 2018, when the protestors started taking to the streets. The longest lasting shutdown to date was from 21 December 2018 until 26 February 2019 when social media were cut for 68 consecutive days.