UNHRC Condemns Internet Access Disruption By States

The United Human Rights Council on Friday passed a non-binding resolution which condemns the nations that intentionally disrupts internet access. The resolution is constructed based on the earlier resolutions on digital rights, stressing the UNHRC’s stance that “the same rights people have offline must also be protected online,” especially the freedom of expression covered under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 The resolution is being opposed by many nations including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and India. These countries called the UN to remove a passage from the resolution that “condemns unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to our dissemination of information online.” Russia and China had proposed several amendments among which three where rejected by the sponsor countries and another amendment was withdrawn.

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The resolution submitted to the UNHRC by Brazil, Nigeria, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the US. According to a statement more than 70 nations supported the resolution. Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of civil liberties group Article 19 in the statement said that this resolution is “a much-needed response” to increase pressure on online freedom all over the world.

 “From impunity for the killings of bloggers to laws criminalizing legitimate dissent on social media, basic human rights principles are being disregarded to impose greater controls over the information we see and share online,” added Thomas.

“Shutdowns harm everyone and allow human rights crackdowns to happen in the dark,” stated Deji Olukotun, a senior Global Advocacy Manager at digital rights group Access Now. The group also claimed that they had last year it has recorded at least 15 Internet shutdowns around the world l and 20 shutdowns in the first half of this year.

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The resolution also highlights other burning issues like, education for women and girls in relevant fields, online privacy etc. hope this resolution makes big difference all over the world regarding the promotion and protection of internet information and access.

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