Chadian court approves continued social media blackout – after 1 year

Chadian court approves continued social media blackout – after 1 year

Lawyers in Chad on Thursday presented an application to the courts seeking an order to force government to lift a social media blackout. But the Appea

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Lawyers in Chad on Thursday presented an application to the courts seeking an order to force government to lift a social media blackout.

But the Appeals Court struck out the case allowing the government to continue the blackout which has been in force since March 2018.

For a year now, Chadians are unable to use particular social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. The state says these applications have helped to organize anti-government protests which in turn threaten internal security.

The blockade was imposed when a national conference recommended changes to the constitution to allow president Idriss Deby Itno to continue in office until 2033.

Despite repeated calls by internet rights groups for the ban to be lifted, the government has serially dismissed them.

Chad is not the only African country to have switched off the internet for political and security reasons. Gabon did so briefly in the face of a coup attempt early this year.

Sudan, currently suffering anti-government protests imposed a similar measure but has since restored the signal. Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, cut signal after the December 2018 polls. It was only restored after a president was declared in the person of Felix Tshisekedi.

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