internet shutdown #KeepItOn

Tunisia: Access to online conferencing platforms and networks is a constitutional right

للقراءة بالعربية

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, are deeply concerned about recent media reports in Tunisia on the disruption of two online conferencing platforms, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which took place on March 30, 2022, during an online plenary session organized by a number of Tunisian MPs from the suspended Assembly of the People’s Representatives (ARP).While access to Zoom and Microsoft has been restored, the shutdown or disruption of online platforms and services, even if temporary, is a violation of international human rights law and contravenes with Article 32 of the Tunisian constitution, which stipulates that “The State guarantees the right to information and the right of access to information and communication networks”. Such platforms are necessary communication tools used by Tunisian citizens on a daily basis for professional purposes and to stay in touch with their families and friends.

Therefore, the undersigned organizations urge the Tunisian authorities to:

  • Ensure safe and open access to online conferencing platforms and services for all citizens in Tunisia without any discrimination or exclusion, and end any disruption, blocking, shutdown, or interference with the platforms or internet access;
  • Start an urgent and transparent investigation by the relevant authorities to clarify the reasons behind this disruption and hold those responsible; and
  • Order telecommunications companies and internet service providers to inform the public and internet users of any potential disruptions and to take all reasonable steps to fix any identified disruptions likely to impact the quality of service they receive.

Signatory organizations:

  • The Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LTDH)
  • The Tunisian Organization against Torture (OCTT)
  • The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  • The Tunisian Association for Positive Prevention (ATP+)
  • Aswat Nissa
  • The Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality (DAMJ)
  • The Committee for the respect of Freedoms and Human Rights (CRLDHT)
  • The Democratic Transition and Human Rights Support Center (DAAM)
  • Jamaity
  • Access Now
  • Article 19
  • Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF)
  • Al-Karama Association for Rights and Freedoms
  • BINA Association for Media and Development
  • The Federation of Tunisians for a Citizenship of the Two Shores (F.T.C.R.)
  • The Tunisian Association for Governance and Social Accountability (ATGL)
  • Nachaz-Dissonances
  • Ness Association for Combined Prevention
  • Free Sight Association
  • Tunisian Youth Impact (TYI)
  • Tunisian Network for Transitional Justice
  • The Tunisian Alliance for Dignity and Rehabilitation

Test for ongoing internet shutdowns: 

When you lose internet connection or can’t visit certain websites, services, or apps, it is very difficult to tell the technical means behind these disruptions. However, there is a global internet measurement community that provides tools and data to help you investigate the technical details. 

You can test your internet connections using the OONI Probe app, which allows you to run tests and document evidence of various forms of network interference.

Here’s how you can test your internet connections using the OONI Probe.