Authorities in Kenya must immediately restore access and #KeepItOn throughout protests and unrest

Stop the internet shutdowns: Senegal authorities must end censorship

Update — August 9, 2023: Internet was restored across Senegal on August 5, but to date, authorities are still blocking TikTok, preventing people from communicating openly.

In a blatant act of censorship and an affront to the rights of freedom of expression and association online, authorities in Senegal have once again attacked internet access as political tensions rise. Through an open statement, Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition are demanding that the government of Senegal immediately stop shutting down the internet, and call on the international community to condemn these acts of digital authoritarianism. Authorities must end internet shutdowns and censorship in Senegal.

The government’s dangerous weaponization of internet shutdowns and blockings has escalated over recent months, most recently through initiating a mobile internet shutdown across the country on 31 July, and culminating in a TikTok ban on August 2

The government of Senegal is balancing on a dangerous authoritarian tightrope right now. Implementing internet shutdowns to prevent political discourse or quash protest is not what a democracy does. Civil society will not allow human rights in Senegal to backslide once again — we are demanding accountability. Bridget Andere, Senior Policy Analyst at Access Now

In two of the most recent shutdown instances, the government attempted to justify its actions as “necessary to prevent” the spread of hateful and subversive messages online. Suspending all online speech does not achieve this purported goal.

Internet shutdowns are a lazy approach to addressing crises, flaming tensions rather than tackling the issues at the core of civil unrest. In both the short and long term, arbitrary censorship disrupts and destabilizes a nation, delegitimizing governments. Felicia Anthonio, #KeepItOn Campaign Manager at Access Now