UN Calls on Cameroon to Restore Internet Access

A UN expert has called on Cameroon to restore net access to English-speaking parts of the country.

Net services in the south-west and north-west regions of the nation were cut on 17 January.

Cutting net services was an “appalling violation” of the right to freedom of expression, said UN special rapporteur David Kaye.

He said the widespread net shutdown also broke international law and he called for links to be restored.

Stifled protest

“I am particularly concerned at the tightening of the space for free speech at a time when its promotion and protection should be of the utmost importance,” said Mr Kaye, an independent expert who advises the UN about attacks on free speech.

“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,” he said.

In 2015, the UN issued a joint declaration which stated that net shutdowns were never justified under human rights law.

Mr Kaye said he and the UN were closely monitoring the situation in Cameroon.

The Cameroon government has not explained why the two regions have been cut off. However, many believe officials took the step to tackle anti-government sentiment there.

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Source: BBC

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