Demands for Immediate Cessation of Internet Discontinuation and Lifting of Ban on News Websites in Yemen

More than 40 local and international human rights organizations condemn the ongoing internet blocking and censorship in Yemen and call for immediate action to put an end to this alarming violation of digital freedom, the right to access information, and the right to protest.

The statement called on the state-owned telecommunications company currently under the control of the Houthi forces to halt the Internet cut-off procedures and lift the ban on news sites, social media platforms and messaging apps in Yemen immediately, in accordance with Yemen’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

It confirmed that in practice the ban that took place last September by Yemen Net, a subsidiary of the Yemeni Public Telecommunications Corporation and currently controlled by the Houthi Group in Yemen “, is one of Yemen’s long and continuous record of Internet blocking and censorship, that has intensified since the start of the conflict in 2015 between Houthi forces and government forces supported by the Saudi-led military coalition.

During the first quarter of 2023, Yemen experienced a total of 12 Internet outages. These incidents affected several governorates, including Shabwa, Taiz, Aden, Hadramawt, Ma’reb and Abyan, ranging from a few hours to more than a week. The causes of these interruptions varied from technical problems to floods to unspecified causes. In June 2023, three Internet outages were reported in Taiz and Hadramout, lasting from one to three days. These Internet problems are attributable to both subversive activities and political causes.

Yemen Net represents the primary internet service provider in Yemen, apart from Aden Net, recently established by the internationally-recognized government with a subscriber base of nearly 20,000. As most Yemenis continue to depend on Yemen Net, any total or partial internet shutdowns and blockages of communication and social media platforms carried out by the company affect all Yemeni governorates, except for the approximately 20,000 subscribers to Aden Net.

Click the following statement’s link