PPF condemns social media blackout in Zimbabwe

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PPF condemns social media blackout in Zimbabwe

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe has expressed concern over the internet shutdown in Zimbabwe since January 15, 2019.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter, has denounced this restriction of internet in the country and called on the government of Zimbabwe to stop targeting public of sharing their views.

According to Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), the country has experienced a complete blackout of social media networks and major websites after public demonstrations against a 150% increase in fuel prices. The protests led to the death of at least eight people and detention of around 200 others.

The online media blackout was confirmed by network measurements led by NetBlocks.

CIPESA and its internet freedoms initiative have joined over 20 civil society organizations and sent a letter to Kazembe Kazembe, the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security, call on the government to ensure the stability and restoration of internet access.

On January 21, Zimbabwe’s High Court ruled that the government have no authority to force mobile operators to block services.

Over the weekend, internet access was restored only partially, but after court ruling, Zimbabwe’s largest telecommunications company, Econet Wireless, sent a message to its customers informing them the suspension had been lifted and all internet and social media services have now been fully restored.