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ECOWAS Court condemns internet shutdown in Guinea

ECOWAS Court condemns internet shutdown in Guinea

The ECOWAS Court has issued its decision following an application by the lawyers for the applicants; Association Des Blogueurs De Guinee (ABLOGUI), Association Villageois 2.0, Ligue Guineenne Des Droits De L’Homme and Centre Africain De Formation et D’Information Sur Les Droits Humains et L’Environment for judgment in default of defence.

The case was filed at the ECOWAS Court against Guinea in July 2021 for shutting down the internet and blocking social media platforms in March and October 2020. The shutdown took place during political protests in the run up to both the Constitutional referendum (March 2020) and Presidential elections (October 2020).

The 4 claimants in the case complained that Guinea’s action in restricting access to the internet and blocking social media platforms constituted an unlawful interference with their right to freedom of expression and access to information contrary to the African Charter and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

The decision represents further confirmation that internet shutdowns are unlawful, and governments have a positive obligation to ensure the internet remains on.

Media Defence continues to litigate internet shutdown and social media blocking cases before domestic and international courts.

  • Judgment: ECOWAS Court Finds Togo Violated FoE with Internet Shutdown

 

  • Judgment: ECOWAS Court finds Nigeria violated freedom of expression with Twitter blocking

 

  • UN body finds Cameroon journalist unlawfully detained and tortured

 

For additional information, please contact Pádraig Hughes at padraig.hughes@mediadefence.org

For general press enquiries, please contact communications@mediadefence

 

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