IPI condemns internet and mobile network shutdowns in Mauritania, Guinea and Senegal
The International Press Institute (IPI) condemns the recent orders by the governments of Mauritania, Guinea and Senegal to disrupt networks and shut down the internet in recent months amid public protests.
The International Press Institute (IPI) condemns the recent orders by Mauritania, Guinea, and Senegal governments to disrupt networks and shut down the internet in recent months amid public protests. IPI highlighted that Internet shutdowns represent a disproportionate restriction on the public’s right to access information.
In Senegal, internet restrictions have recently been in place during public demonstrations against the sentencing of the opposition leader on 1 June. Senegal’s communications minister claimed the shutdown was necessary to prevent hatred and violence from spreading. In Mauritania, the government shut down mobile internet on 31 May amid protests following the death of a young man in police custody. This was the second time the internet had been shut down in Mauritania this year. In Guinea, the authorities ordered a shutdown of the internet on 17 May to quell planned protests against the government. Two of the country’s largest telecommunications companies complied with the order. The shutdown was condemned as an act of censorship by press associations in Guinea.
Amy Brouillette, IPI’s Director of Advocacy, states that government must stop using network shutdowns to control news and information, especially regarding political activity and protests. Private platforms and telecom companies should also resist such demands.