Chad’s multiple violations of digital rights submitted to the UNHRC
Paris, April 2, 2018: Internet Without Borders, Access Now and Utopie Nord-Sud jointly submitted a report the United Nations Human Rights Council on the situation of Human Rights online in Chad. This report is part of the country’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in November 2018.
In this document, the three submitting organizations provide evidence of violations of freedom of expression, access to information, and the right to privacy, committed by the Chadian government over the last 5 years, in violation of the country’s Constitution, and International commitments. Notably, Chad has unceasingly arrested, tortured human rights defenders, activists, journalists, forbidden demonstrations, or shut down access to the Internet. From April to December 2016, the government blocked all social media and messaging applications in an attempt to restrain the growing public discontent. This violation of Chadian’s freedom of expression online cost to the country nearly 18 million USD, according to the Internet without borders’ estimates.
“This submission reminds that Chad is one those countries which have mastered the practice of shutting down telecommunications for political reasons. No later than March 30, 2018, i.e. one day after we sent our report tot he UN, its bandwidth was throttled, making it extremely difficult for Chadian citizens to connect to social media and messaging apps, without the use of a VPN. This has to stop”, said Abdelkerim Yacoub Koundougoumi, Head of the Central African division of Internet Without Borders.
Internet Without Borders calls on member States of the UN Human Rights Council to prioritize the issue of digital rights violations during their review of Chad, particularly network shutdown and disruptions, which have a direct and negative effect on other Human Rights.