Tell MENA authorities: #NoExamShutdown

#NoExamShutdown 2024

Every year, millions across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region face significant disruptions due to internet shutdowns imposed by governments during national secondary and high school exams. These shutdowns, allegedly aimed at preventing students from cheating, are not only ineffective but have a far-reaching impact on everyday life, affecting businesses, communication, and access to essential services online.

The #NoExamShutdown campaign is dedicated to combating this rights-violating practice and advocating for free and open internet access for all. In 2024, Access Now, the Internet Society (ISOC), and SMEX will continue building efforts for the #NoExamShutdown campaign to ensure that people and communities in MENA and beyond have uninterrupted access to online resources essential for their daily activities and livelihoods, at all times.
With more and more countries outside the region, including Kenya and India, resorting to cutting off internet access during exam periods, action is needed now more than ever! Join us in demanding open and secure access to the internet and an end to exam-related shutdowns!



Since 2016, Algerian authorities have repeatedly resorted to internet shutdowns during exam periods, justifying these disruptive actions under the guise of securing the exams. Year after year, these shutdowns have adversely affected individuals and businesses, leading to widespread frustration and economic losses. Yet authorities continue to implement internet shutdowns during exam periods, disregarding people’s fundamental rights. 

Last year, authorities flipped the kill switch for five days, from June 11 to 15. This year, we’re continuing to push back. Here are the dates we’re monitoring for the exams:

Baccalaureate Exams: 11 June – 15 June, 2023

Join us in demanding that Algerian authorities safeguard the rights and access of all citizens during vital exam periods.


Since at least 2015, the Iraqi government has implemented internet shutdowns during exams, thereby impacting people across the country. 

In 2023, the Ministry of Communication initially rejected a request to shut down the internet during exams; a decision we welcomed. However, we were disappointed when the Ministry of Education pushed back and eventually received approval during the Iraqi cabinet meeting to proceed with shutting down the internet. This resulted in multiple disruptions in June, July, August, and September of last year, despite our letter urging Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudanito to #KeepItOn during exams.

We will continue to call for an end to this practice. Here are the upcoming exam periods this year:

Final exams: May 12 to June 8, 2024

Join us in demanding that authorities in Iraq safeguard the rights and access of all citizens during exam periods.


In Jordan, authorities have previously blocked communication platforms during the Tawjihi exams, despite lacking a legal basis to do so. This practice severely undermines human rights and disrupts access to essential services.

In a positive sign of progress, there were no shutdowns or app blocks during last year’s exams. We hope for this trend to continue in 2024:

General Secondary Education Certificate Examination (Tawjihi exams): June 25-July 15, 2024

Join us in advocating for authorities to continue maintaining open and unrestricted access to the internet during this year’s exams.


The Syrian regime has consistently misused the internet to oppress its people, suppress human rights, and cover up severe rights violations, including mass killings, arbitrary arrests, and enforced disappearances. Routinely disconnecting people during exams has become a pattern; since 2016, authorities have typically shut down mobile internet services for at least five hours per exam day, usually during early mornings.

On June 25-26, 2024, authorities enforced nationwide internet blackouts twice during school exams, causing a three-and-a-half hour blackout during the early morning hours.

Baccalaureate exams: May 25-June 13

Join us in urging authorities to keep the internet open and accessible during this year’s exams.


We believe in sharing the stories of people affected by internet shutdowns. If you have experienced an exam-related blackout, please share your story with us using this form.

Join Access Now, SMEX, the Internet Society, and our partners around the world in calling for MENA governments to #KeepItOn and commit to #NoExamShutdown. Follow us for more information on how you can help end internet shutdowns.