It is egregious that people in Ethiopia are continually deprived of their rights to freedom of expression and access to information at the hands of their own government. Authorities must reinstate full internet access across the country, and ensure its future safeguarding.
Access Now, the #KeepItOn coalition, and civil society organizations from around the world are reaching out to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to initiate immediate action in reconnecting the Amhara and Tigray regions, and the entire country.
This online assault against the people of Ethiopia cannot continue. Deliberate internet disruptions have real-life consequences. When the internet is blocked, education, aid, communication, commerce, and the ability to get on with life is blocked. The government of Ethiopia must ensure all regions are connected now.Felicia Anthonio, #KeepItOn Campaign Manager at Access Now
Against a backdrop of periodic internet shutdowns, and a targeted shutdown during Tigray’s civil war lasting more than two years, authorities blocked access to mobile internet as violent protests erupted in the first week of April across parts of the Amhara region. Reportedly, mobile data is still restricted in major cities.
Time and time again, authorities in Ethiopia have shown a blatant contempt not only for people’s right to exercise freedoms online, but for their physical safety. During times of crisis or turmoil — including civil war and violent unrest — the inability to access information online can make people incredibly unsafe. No matter when, the government of Ethiopia must #KeepItOn.Bridget Andere, Africa Policy Analyst at Access Now