In an open letter to the Presidency of Mali on 19 June 2017, Internet Sans Frontières and 22 Malian and international organizations call on the government to keep Malian’s Internet access on in all circumstances, especially in these times of opposition to the project of constitutional amendment submitted by the Government.
The open letter comes a week after Facebook and Twitter were inaccessible (fr), forcing many Malians to use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access these websites. Neither the Malian government nor Internet service providers have so far put forward an explanation for this deprivation of freedom of expression, and its corollary freedom to communicate.
It is not the first time that access to social networks is disrupted in this West African country, which has 2 million Internet users, of which 1 million are on Facebook: in August 2016, social network Facebook was blocked, at a time when important demonstrations against the government were taking place. Mali had thus joined a list of African countries, which suspended all or part of the Internet access of their populations for political reasons.
Internet Sans Frontières is very concerned about the decline of online freedoms in Mali, and calls on the government to protect Internet access in line with the Mali Digital 2020 Plan.
Press inquiries: Julie Owono, Executive Director – firstname.lastname@example.org