World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Darkness in Syria - Internet Shut Down


https://www.accessnow.org/blog/2012/11/29/darkness-in-syria

Darkness in Syria

Syria has cut its citizens off from the rest of the world by entirely shutting down its internet as well as most mobile and landline connections, according to news reports and technical analyses by Renesys and Akamai.

Access believes that a total interruption of the internet and telecommunications services is completely unjustifiable, a breach of international law, and always causes serious harm to the public. Syrian authorities should restore service immediately. Any private companies facilitating the shutdown must take immediate action to remedy the human rights impact of cessation of communications services, first and foremost, by restoring service. Companies (and governments) have a responsibility to respect human rights and redress grievances under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

While information about the actual execution of the shutdown is still coming out, all telecommunications providers in the country connect through the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment, controlled by the Syrian Ministry of Communication and Technology. Indeed, they are reputed to share a building, so shutting off communications may have been as simple as walking down a hallway and telling the routers to stop announcing their IP addresses, a metaphorical if not actual pulling of the plug.

This isn’t the first time the Syrian regime has shut down communications. Access has received reports from on the ground activists that mobile provider MTN Syria’s networks have gone down in towns just before the Syrian military laid siege to the blacked out areas over the past months. (https://www.accessnow.org/blog/access-confronts-telco-mtn-for-neglecting-human-rights)

Moreover, the drastic step of a wide-scale shutdown is not without precedent either, as Egypt, Burma, and others have shut down national access to the internet during times of unrest. After the Egyptian uprising, we warned that President Mubarak’s order, which Vodafone and other providers complied with, would give more authoritarian regimes the green light to request shutdowns by telecommunications companies. Only through international condemnation and real consequences against officials, including criminal proceedings against those ordering the unlawful shutdowns, will other governments and telecoms heed the message of Article 19 of the ICCPR: all people have the right to seek, receive, and impart information regardless of frontiers.

But more than these violations of international law, we fear the human rights abuses that are likely being perpetrated by the Syrian regime, which cannot be documented and shared with the world under the darkness of this communications blackout. Worryingly, Reuters has already reported (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/29/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8AJ1FK20121129) that the Syrian army has begun a “cleansing operation” in the capital to confront rebel advances, citing an anonymous Syrian security source.

It is incumbent on the Syrian regime, along with the country’s communications operators Tata, Deutsche Telekom, the Chinese PCCW, Turk Telekom, Telecom Italia, Syriatel, and MTN Syria to restore all communications immediately. We further urge the international community to speak out and marshall all possible resources for the defense of the Syrian people.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

ALSO:


Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Security Council Demands End To LRA Attacks In Africa

    A Congolese refugee at an emergency school in Obo, Haut-Mbomou, Central African Republic, (CAR) after fleeing attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Photo: OCHA/Lauren Paletta More>>

    UN Condemns Botswana’s Treatment Of Bushmen

    The UN Special Rapporteur on cultural rights has voiced concerns over Botswana's evictions of the Bushmen in the name of wildlife conservation. The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on cultural rights has condemned Botswana’s treatment of Africa’s ... More>>

    UN Congratulates Frontline Ebola Response Workers

    10 December 2014 – The United Nations today congratulated the front line workers in the field battling Ebola on their well-deserved recognition as Time “Person of the Year,” while countries affected by the outbreak and their partners met to ... More>>

    ALSO:

    World United States: US Must Now Recover Moral High Ground In Torture Allegations

    Mr. Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news