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Human Rights Watch slams India, says orders unnecessary Internet shutdowns

By Newsd
Published on :
Source: aolcdn

India was criticized by the Human Rights Watch, which in its recent report said that the nation has shut down the internet services in several regions 20 times in the first five months of this year. Four of those blackouts just have taken place this month. These shut down were at the places where violent protests took place.

The report shows an extreme jump from 2016, when 31 shutdowns were recorded. The number of shutdowns is much greater since 2012, which saw only three shutdowns.

“State governments have imposed 20 internet shutdowns so far in 2017, including by four states in June. Shutdowns in response to campaigns on social media and mobile mass messaging applications spreading false and even incendiary information have frequently been disproportionate. The authorities have failed to follow legal procedures, undermined stated objectives of preventing rumors or panic, and ordered unnecessary shutdowns such as to prevent cheating in examinations,” the report stated.

The report also highlighted that arbitrary and overbroad internet shutdowns violate India’s obligations under international human rights law. The report stressed how in July 2016, the UN Human Rights Council approved a resolution condemning measures by nations to deliberately prevent or interrupt online access and information. It called for free speech protections under articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Besides, a report by the Washington, DC-based Brookings Institute assessed that India lost more than  US$968 million between July 2015 and June 2016 owing to internet shutdowns.


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