Kampala, March 30th, 2021; The high court in Uganda has set June 10, 2021, as the hearing date for the petition filed by Unwanted Witness challenging the 9 days pre, during, and post-elections internet shutdown.
In a petition filed on February 12, 2021, the Unwanted Witness wants the court to among other orders, restrain the government of Uganda and internet service providers from future arbitrary and unjustified shutdown and restrictions of access to the internet and social media services to the Ugandan public.
The applicant further seeks for the court to order the government to formulate guidelines based on international human rights principles to guide any future internet disruptions in the country.
Between January 9 and 12, 2021 internet service providers blocked Google Playstore and App store, Facebook video downloads, and later blocked Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Instagram.
On January 12, 2021 government of Uganda through the regulator, Uganda Communications Commission instructed internet service providers to immediately suspend access and use, direct or otherwise of all social media platforms and online messaging applications over the network until further notice.
To date Facebook has never been restored with users circumvent using Virtual Private Network (VPN).
For a country that had announced digital political campaigning as a form of movement restriction to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, internet disruption came at a high cost to fundamental human rights and democracy for Uganda.
For more information contact;
THE UNWANTED WITNESS – Uganda
P. O. Box 71314 Clock Tower K’la
Telephone: +256 414 697 635
Facebook page: @UnwantedWitnessUg