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UN expert urges Cameroon to restore internet services cut off in rights violation

Author: Human Rights Council (UN), Published on: 10 February 2017

A United Nations expert has called on the Government of Cameroon to restore internet services to predominantly English-speaking parts of the country which have been cut off in “an appalling violation of their right to freedom of expression.” “I am particularly concerned at the tightening of the space for free speech at a time where its promotion and protection should be of the utmost importance,” said the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye. His call follows reports that Cameroonians in the northwest and southwest regions, which are predominantly English speaking, have been unable to connect to the internet since 17 January. It also comes against a background of widespread protests against government policies which have reportedly marginalized the country’s English-speaking population...A network shutdown of this scale violates international law – it not only suppresses public debate, but also deprives Cameroonians of access to essential services and basic resources,” said Mr. Kaye, urging the government to restore internet facilities immediately. In 2016, the Human Rights Council passed a resolution which unequivocally condemned measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online in violation of international human rights law, and called on all States to refrain from and cease such measures. This followed the 2015 Joint Declaration of UN and regional experts in the field of freedom of expression, which stated that network shutdowns or internet ‘kill switches’ are measures which can ‘never be justified under human rights law’.

A United Nations expert has called on the Government of Cameroon to restore internet services to predominantly English-speaking parts of the country which have been cut off in “an appalling violation of their right to freedom of expression.” - See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21165&L...

A United Nations expert has called on the Government of Cameroon to restore internet services to predominantly English-speaking parts of the country which have been cut off in “an appalling violation of their right to freedom of expression.”

“I am particularly concerned at the tightening of the space for free speech at a time where its promotion and protection should be of the utmost importance,” said the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye.

His call follows reports that Cameroonians in the northwest and southwest regions, which are predominantly English speaking, have been unable to connect to the internet since 17 January. It also comes against a background of widespread protests against government policies which have reportedly marginalized the country’s English-speaking population.

- See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21165&L...

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