Sudan restores internet for only one person

Sudanese lawyer Abdel-Adheem Hassan.
After a three- week internet shutdown, Sudan has restored it to only one person- lawyer Abdel-Adheem Hassan.

The lawyer had sued the telecoms operator Zain Sudan over the internet blackout that was ordered by Sudan military rulers in what they claim is a security measure.

But on Sunday, a Sudanese Court ordered Zain to immediately restore internet services to the country but only the lawyer was able to benefit.

In an interview with BBC, the lawyer said his victory is only benefitting him so far as he filed the case on a personal capacity.

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Hassan said he will return to court on Tuesday over the internet outage and hoped more people will be given access.

"We have a court session on Tuesday and another one on Wednesday. Hopefully, one million people will gain internet access by the end of the week," Hassan told BBC.

Severe restrictions

The current blackout, which began on June 3, has resulted in a “near-total loss of access” for mobile and fixed line connections for most ordinary users, though connectivity had improved from 2% to 10% of normal levels by last Thursday, said Alp Toker of NetBlocks, a digital rights NGO.

“Data indicate that Sudan’s current internet restrictions remain more severe than those observed during the rule of Omar al-Bashir, including those applied in the final days of the regime,” Toker said in an email.

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The blackout has hampered the speed and effectiveness of humanitarian operations, said Rick Brennan, regional emergencies director at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Protesters have been demanding that authorities restore internet services as one of their conditions for returning to talks on forming a transitional administration comprising both civilians and military officers.

General Salah Abdel-Khaleq, a member of Sudan’s Transitional Military Council, told the BBC Arabic service in an interview this month that internet services would be restored once those talks resumed.

The talks were suspended after security forces stormed the protest camp outside the Defence Ministry in central Khartoum on June 3. Protesters put the number of dead from that raid and ensuing violence at 128, and the health ministry at 61.

The protesters responded to the break-up of the sit-in by declaring a state of civil disobedience, instructing supporters in various sectors of the economy to stay away from work in a move that has partially paralyzed Sudan.

SEE ALSO :US joins effort to salvage Sudan deal

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SudanInternet BlackoutSudan Crisis