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South Africa votes against internet freedom

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South Africa votes against internet freedom. (Image Source: eorgiancollege.ca)

According to a report via Fin24, South Africa has joined other nations such as China and Russia in voting against a United Nations resolution on the “promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet.”

The resolution was however supported by countries ranging from Australia, the US, UK, Nigeria, Senegal, and Turkey. The report reveals that the United Nations had held a vote on the resolution, which seeks to bring political commitment from member states to protect human rights online such as freedom of expression and privacy.

According to the report, the resolution additionally seeks to ensure the release of those imprisoned for the “legitimate” freedom of expression online. As revealed by the report, other key points of the resolution include investigating attacks against bloggers or other internet users, and refraining from preventing access to information online by, for example, shutting down the internet during key times such as elections or terror attacks.

Within the article, it is revealed that Russia and China requested amendments to the draft resolution to remove items such as text on freedom of expression and the shutting down of internet access. However, the amendments weren’t adopted and most countries voted for the human rights resolution, which will be adopted by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

With the results in, as revealed by the report, nations who had voted against internet freedom have been placed in the spotlight.

Thomas Hughes, the executive director of global free press organisation ARTICLE 19 stated within the article that: “We are disappointed that democracies like South Africa, Indonesia, and India voted in favour of these hostile amendments to weaken protections for freedom of expression online.”

“A human rights-based approach to providing and expanding internet access, based on states’ existing international human rights obligations, is essential to achieving the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and no state should be seeking to slow this down,” Hughes added.

Apart from South Africa, India and Indonesia, other countries that voted in favour of the amendment and against the resolution included the likes of Kenya, Qatar, Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

Staff Writer

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