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Congo: Telcos silent on internet shutdown during 2021 presidential election

Ahead of the 21 March 2021 presidential election in the Republic of the Congo, over 50 organisations from the #KeepItOn coalition sent an open letter to the country's president, officials, and the primary telecommunications companies appealing them to "to ensure that the internet, social media platforms, and all other communication channels are open, secure, and accessible throughout the election period, scheduled for March 17 and 21, in the Republic of Congo and thereafter."

On the day of the election, network data showed the internet was almost entirely shut down. Monitoring agency NetBlocks recorded the outage lasted three days.

We invited the three primary telecommunications companies operating in the Republic of the Congo to respond to the open letter concerning their responsibility to uphold and respect human rights by providing open and secure access to the internet throughout the Congolese elections, and to the subsequent reports that the internet was largely shut down in the country from 21-23 March 2021. The companies are MTN Congo, Airtel Congo, and Congo Telecom. None responded to our invitation.

Company Responses

Airtel Congo

No Response

Congo Telecom

No Response

MTN Congo

No Response

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