Tue. Apr 13th, 2021

Election:Paradigm Initiative Chides Senegalese Government over Internet Disruption

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The Paradigm Initiative has lambasted the Senagalese Government over the disruption of Internet and social media platforms in the country aimed at suppressing citizens online freedom of opinion thus called for a respect for Digital freedom of its citizens.

This was contained in a press statement made available to our correspondent on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the call was in reaction to the disruptions to the internet and social networks on Friday March 5, 2020 as evidenced in a report by NetBlocks.org.

“Alerts from internet users revealed disruptions on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and some Telegram servers”, the statement reads.

The initiative recalled that before the disturbances were recorded, clashes and other demonstrations shook several cities in the country after the arrest of the political leader and opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko; came third in the last presidential election in 2019.

”As a reminder, Senegal had recorded similar disturbances of internet servers a few days before the presidential election of February 24, 2019”.

However, they noted that the disturbances of the internet and social networks are a violation of digital user rights, and a violation of certain Internet rights according to the Senegal constitution Article 8, which guarantees its “citizens fundamental individual freedoms including freedom of opinion, expression, the press, association, assembly, travel, and demonstration”.

Paradigm Initiative having expressed their concern about disturbances of Internet networks aimed at suppressing demonstrations and the expression of online freedom of opinion in Senegal urged and requests the Senegalese government on its responsibilities to respect international human rights obligations, and to make a lasting contribution to actions to protect digital rights in the country, in accordance with the resolution of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted in 2016 on the right to freedom of information and expression for the internet in Africa, ACHPR / Res.362 (LIX)”.

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