Access Now condemns the decision of authorities in the Union of Comoros to disrupt internet access in an attempt to quell post-election protests against the re-election of President Azali Assoumani. According to Access Now’s STOP database, this marks the first documented internet shutdown in Comoros. The Comorian government must end the ongoing blackout immediately.
Internet traffic measurement partners, Cloudflare Radar and IODA confirmed the shutdown. Data from Cloudflare Radar shows that there was a significant dip in traffic in Comoros at 09:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, impacting the main internet service provider, Comores Telecom.
Under the shroud of darkness, one person has reportedly been killed and 25 others injured, as police continue to engage with opposition supporters in the capital, Moroni. Internet shutdowns hinder documentation and reporting, enabling authorities to conceal human rights violations and evade accountability.
Internet blackouts interfere with people’s ability to exercise their human rights including access to information, freedom of expression and association, and other economic and social rights, while fuelling disinformation. Internet access enables people to access and share information easily, helping ensure they stay as safe as possible, and remain in contact with their loved ones and communities.
Authorities in the Union of Comoros must urgently reconnect the nation and #KeepItOn.