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#KeepItOn in Mauritania: authorities must restore internet connectivity

Following reports of a nationwide block on mobile internet access in Mauritania, Access Now urges authorities to immediately and fully reconnect the country. 

According to Cloudflare data, Mauritanian authorities cut off mobile internet access on March 6, 2023, immediately after four prisoners, described as “terrorists” by the Interior Ministry, escaped from a jail in Nouakchott. During their escape, two guards were killed, while another two were wounded; sparking a nationwide pursuit and the ongoing shutdown.

In times of heightened social tension and unrest, internet access is more of a lifeline for people than ever. Stopping people from communicating with each other is unjustified and disproportionate; the government should change course immediately and restore access for all people. Felicia Anthonio, #KeepItOn Campaign Manager at Access Now

Mauritanian authorities have a track record of deploying internet shutdowns during critical national moments, having previously flipped the kill switch in 2019 after a highly contested presidential election. 

Internet shutdowns make it harder for people to share accurate, timely updates and to avoid disinformation. When people are worried about their safety, they need more access to information, not less. Bridget Andere, Africa Policy Analyst at Access Now