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Rights groups sue gov’t for blocking internet access in Anglophone regions

Journal du Cameroun | The government of Cameroon has been sued for disrupting internet services in its English speaking regions.

Two advocacy rights groups, dubbed; Access Now and Internet Sans Frontières (ISF) have intervened on behalf a consortium of local and regional civil society organizations who previously sued the government for blocking access to the internet in the South West and North West English-speaking regions. In court documents filed to the constitutional council and seen by Quartz, the organizations say the current shutdown violates the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, non-discrimination based on language, and hinders economic, social, and cultural rights.

The filings, the first of its kind against a government by the organizations, seek to show the internet cut-off was violating regional and international frameworks that support the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through digital means. The petitioners also hope to show that the blanket ban was not proportionate and that the government failed to present a legitimate aim for the blackout.

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” said Peter Micek, the general counsel for Access Now. “The government needs to hear clearly, and urgently, from courts that these shutdowns violate Cameroonian and international law, and must end.”

For over a year now, the internet in the two Anglophone regions has either been completely off or slowed down, with messaging and social media apps blocked for a total of 214 days as of Jan. 29 this year, according to both ISF and Access Now. The disruption began as protesters in the two regions demonstrated against political and economic discrimination from the majority French-speaking government. Last October, separatists declared independence for a region they called Ambazonia, leading the government to kickstart a military crackdown. The violence that followed has threatened to spin out of control, leading to dozens of deaths and pushing at least 43,000 people to flee to Nigeria, according to Reuters.

The current impasse also poses a direct challenge to president Paul Biya’s 35-year rule, and who, at 84 years of age, is expected to run again this year.

Biya’s government has also become strategic with regards to the shutdown switching back the internet for 48 hours in January as a delegation from the Confederation of African Football visited the region. The shutdown has caused serious economic damage and especially on the budding tech industry in Buea town known as Silicon Mountain—a play on Silicon Valley and Mount Cameroon.

Micek said that he hopes the new lawsuit will draw global attention to how serious internet blackouts affect economic and human development. Telcos, who have been pressured in the past to suspend connectivity, should ally themselves against government censorship and not let officials “abuse their licenses and power over telcos to silence at-risk communities,” he said. “These disruptions will no longer occur in the dark.”

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  1. Old news !!!!!!!

  2. How is the struggle for ambaZombians going pa Johnny?
    I heard through the grapevine Mr. Buhari is arresting the cockroaches you people call “fighters” and sending them back to Cameroon…lol
    You the internet warrior, aiding and abiding terrorists using a keyboard, you should surrender and beg for mercy…the end is near grand Johnny…I told you so.
    Cameroon oye!
    Cameroon oye!
    Cameroon oye!

  3. 6months of no internet in West Cameroon.
    January 2017 to April 2017
    October 2017 to present
    More than 180days
    Anglophone apartheid in Cameroon. France will defend Cameroon in Court because they are the technical advisers of these blackout.
    What are they afraid of? That the mind of the Anglophone is free from manipulation from Yaoundé and France!
    The black slave on the plantation in the Americas fought for his freedom what more of the black slave in West Cameroon.
    Latrine policy!
    Boko Haram is provided Internet in the north of Cameroon but in West Cameroon all Anglophones are punished.
    Who is fooling who? Brotherhood of oil in SONARA.

    • You $5 whore…

      There is no oil in SONARA.

      SONARA is a refinery, meaning the crude can be extracted from anywhere in the country or around the world for that matter then refine at SONARA. Just because this industrial facility was placed at its current location does not mean the raw material is coming from the same location, case in point even a whore like you can never point to a single oil/gas well located in the SW/NW region.

      Cameroonian oil reserves are located offshore.
      As for the internet, while your president and his cabinet were in Nigeria, why didn’t you run a cable back to your huts?

      • You are essentially asking the same people you claim to be at war with and want to kill to provide you with internet? How retarded can you be? I guess prostitution brings diseases which as some point deteriorates brain activity….whore!

        • UnitedStatesOfEwondo, we are simply claiming our rights under international law not under Beti law. Shine your eyes. I can see how frustrated you feel with the successes and resistance from a cube of sugar. Catch and imprison or even kill all the Auyuks, the struggle continous and we will win big time.

        • What a bunch of rats, you can’t even spell correctly the name of your “president’, who is now a bitch in Kodengui.

          Turned out, even Cameroonians in prison are still patriotic and Ayuk is now said to be bending over and getting f*cked a few times a day by cell mates…

          At this point, death will be the merciful thing to happen to him…

          You guys wanted a fight, now you got one. There will be no negotiations, no talks, no blah blah blah…we will see this through…only one side will be standing by the time this is done…

          its time for you lunatics to pay your tab, you reap what you sow…

          En Avant beaux et vaillants soldats Camerounais
          La patrie a besoin de vous
          Nettoyez la maison…
          La nation, à jamais reconnaissante!

      • Brother $5 is too expensive, she’s a 2$ ho3, very well known around to make bogus claims she can’t substantiate. I need to kidnap and handover her to my wadjo gatekeepers so they can have a taste of her overstretched ambashitnia holes. Anything to make her shut up . Funny thing is she used to be pro Cameroon, they need retraining and reprogramming, we will deal with them

  4. First pics of Ayuk Tabe alias sisiku are out.
    No I feel sorry for the dude( just sarcasm).
    He looks like someone who has been living on the street for the last half century.
    This is going to be something….
    If anyone need those pics, I would really like to send them. Wish we could exchange privately.
    But guys the poor guy. When the remainder of the a ambazombians still dreaming on fighting see those pics, they will go hide, run and run to hide.

    • Is it the same picture purported to be Atanga Nji a few days ago circulating on social media? LOL some of u guys are ready to belief anything on social media shows how narrow minded u are.

      • Sound to me you are the narrow mind and obviously a retarded person as well.
        He said he has pics of the swine Ajuk. He did not show these pictures and you have not seeing what he is talking about…yet you have already concluded the picture to be of Atanga Nji.
        You made a conclusion on something you have not seeing…says all about you.

  5. Mbappe and UnitedStatesOfAfrica, so you guys are still on this. How ever I spell the name I expect you to read it and understand because you are my slave. I know only fear is tearing you guys apart, Ambazonia has indicated clear and clean that the Bulu Beti power is gone and gone for for good. Yes you have all enjoyed for 56 years but you will suffer till eternity within La Republic cos from your instituted corruption, tribalism nepotism and all the ism’s not even your own fellow francofools will ever trust you. So your hell has just began hear on earth as I hear your King is now in a coma. Hahahaaha let me laugh a bit. As for Sisiku Ayuk and co. You don’t know the pleasure there in when someone stands and dies for a genuine course. You can torture the body but the spirit remains high