#Keepiton Facebook and Twitter Blocked in Mali Amid Protests
Since August 17, 2016, Facebook and Twitter are blocked in Mali, a landlocked country in West Africa. This follows the arrest of a radio presenter critical of the Government, and protests throughout the country, which were severely repressed with people killed. For Internet Sans Frontières, this untolerable attack against online freedoms of Malians is socially, politically and economically counterproductive. We call on the Malian Government to restore citizens’ access to these social networks, through which millions of Malians are connected to relatives, friends, colleagues, or even clients.
When talking about Internet censorship in Africa, one might be used to hearing the names of countries not praised for their democratic record (see for instance our latest report on Chad).
Internet Sans Frontières received several reports from citizens in various locations of the country who couldn’t connect to those websites.
” In the whole country, Facebook, Twitter, and Viber are unaccessible. Here is what happens when you try to open Facebook “,Fatouma Harber, co-founder of SankoréLabs, a coworking space in Timbuktu, told Internet Sans Frontières.
The blocking followed the arrest of radio presenter ‘Ras Bath’, known for his analysis, critical of the Malian Government, and weeks of deadly protets over corruption, unemployment, and the security situation in the Northern part of the country.
As a member of the #Keepiton coalition, that fights against Internet Shutdowns, Internet Sans Frontières is preoccupied by the decision of Malian authorities to resort to a practice that deprives its citizens from their fundamental freedom of expression, in an unnecessary and disproportionate way. Internet Sans Frontières calls on the Government of Mali to restore citizens’ access to Facebook, Twitter and Viber, and apply the rule of law online as it is applied offline.
On July 1, 2016, a resolution adopted by the United Nations Human rights Council firmly condemned Internet disruptions and shutdowns.