Egypt rights group demands telecom blackout re-investigation

ANHRI not satisfied with the investigations into revolution related deaths (Image: file photo)

An Egyptian human rights organization has voiced its anger at the interim government for the slapdash investigations into the telecommunications blackout during the 18 days of protests that led to former President Hosni Mubarak’s ousting on February 11. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said in a press statement on Monday that the government must immediately address the telecom blackout and take action to investigate and hold those responsible accountable.

ANHRI accused Internet and telecom companies in Egypt of being responsible for the killing and wounding of protesters as a result of their Internet cuts that impeded protests “ability to summon ambulances and emergency services.”

For at least three days in late January, mobile phone operations were shut down by the government during the height of violence against anti-government protesters.

The pan-Arabic rights group said that the prosecution in Egypt had yet to complete investigations into their complaint in February where it accused the telecom companies of compliance in the deaths of demonstrators.

The statement claimed that “the public prosecutor did not summon these officials,” and added that it is a “failure in bringing those accountable to justice.”

ANHRI demanded that the government investigate both the Communications Minister and the chief of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

By Desmond Shephard