Internet shutdown latest violation on English Cameroonians

February 14, 2017 7:58 am2 comments

facebookYAOUNDE, (CAJ News) -CAMEROON is under international pressure to restore internet services to predominantly English-speaking parts of the country cut off since January following anti-government protests.
Police have reacted with brutality to the English speakers who have long reported that they face discrimination and marginalization.
Cameroon has two official languages: French and English but English speakers have long reported that they face discrimination and marginalization, and are excluded from top civil service positions and public services.
They also complain their access to justice is limited because the majority of legislation and judicial proceedings are in French.
Cameroonians in the northwest and southwest regions, which are predominantly English speaking, have been unable to connect to the internet since January 17. This is seen as a ploy to dissuade protestors from mobilizing online.
United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, saida network shutdown of this scale violated international law.
“It not only suppresses public debate, but also deprives Cameroonians of access to essential services and basic resources,” said Kaye.
He urged the government to restore internet facilities immediately.
In 2016, the Human Rights Council passed a resolution to unequivocally condemned measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online in violation of international human rights law.
This followed the 2015 Joint Declaration of UN, which stated that network shutdowns or internet ‘kill switches’ could never be justified under human rights law.
CAJ News


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