Statement on Internet Shutdown

The Embassy of Sweden is deeply concerned to learn that the Myanmar Government has ordered a shutdown of internet services in the conflict-affected townships of Rakhine and Chin States.

To limit the free flow of information will affect the public’s ability to get knowledge of what is going on in these areas. Considering the recently documented human rights violations committed during this conflict, this is deeply regrettable and a violation of freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression applies online as well as offline, this has been confirmed on several occasions by the international community in UN resolutions. Its limitations are subject to stringent and clearly defined procedures in international law, due to its function as a key enabler for the enjoyment of other human rights.

Sweden urges the Myanmar Government to immediately restore full internet access in these areas. The Government should also with urgency reform the legislative framework to strengthen the public’s access to the internet and enjoyment of freedom of expression online. This includes an immediate overhaul of the vaguely worded art 77 of the Telecommunications Law.

Original statement here.

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