Amnesty International Calls for Restoration of Internet Services in Egypt to Allow Free Flow of Information

Press Release
February 1, 2011

Amnesty International Calls for Restoration of Internet Services in Egypt to Allow Free Flow of Information

Amnesty International Calls for Restoration of Internet Services in Egypt to Allow Free Flow of Information
Organization Welcomes Military Commitment Not to Fire on Peaceful Protesters

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150, strimel@aiusa.org

(London) – Amnesty International today called for the restoration of internet services in Egypt, after Noor, the one remaining provider in Egypt, was cut off. The human rights organization said the free flow of information was crucial to bring to light abuse that has occurred during the uprising and to protect the right to freedom of expression without fear or interference.

“Protesters have shown that they can organize massive demonstrations with or without the internet – but what is crucial now is the free flow of information so that evidence on the abuses and killings that have occurred in the past week can be brought to light, and those responsible brought to account,” said Malcolm Smart, director, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program.

The human rights organization said it welcomed the military’s commitment not to fire on peaceful protesters.  Amnesty International has repeatedly raised concerns about the excessive use of force by security forces during the demonstrations. “Protecting the right to demonstrate peacefully is a duty,” said Claudio Cordone, senior director at Amnesty International.

Media reports said hundreds of thousands of people had gathered for what organizers dubbed a ‘Million Man’ protest calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down and corruption, poverty and police abuses to end.

Amnesty International staff present at the protest reported troops carrying out searches at entry and exit points and a heavy guard presence at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities.

In Washington, DC, Amnesty International USA organized a rally outside the Egyptian embassy to show solidarity with peaceful demonstrations in Egypt.

Protesters have accused plainclothes police agents and criminals in the pay of the police of carrying out looting in the past week in order to discredit the demonstrations.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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