Senegal’s communications ministry reported that mobile internet access was shut down for the second time this month on Tuesday, following the government’s decision to forbid a protest against the postponement of the country’s presidential election in February.
President Macky Sall’s decision to push back the February 25 vote until December plunged Senegal into a crisis which has seen three dead amid clashes between protesters and security forces.
“Due to the dissemination on social networks of several subversive hate messages that have already provoked violent demonstrations… mobile data is suspended this Tuesday 13 February,” the Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Energy said in a statement.
Access to mobile data had already been temporarily restricted eight days ago when parliament backed Sall’s decision to postpone the election.
This decision was severely criticised by rights activists and Senegal’s major international partners, including the United States and the European Union.
Access was restored again on Wednesday.
The move to cut mobile internet was a repeat of a move last June, where Senegal’s government restricted access amid high tensions in the country.
The measure has become a common response to curb mobilisation and communication via social networks, strongly condemned by rights activists.
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