[IRP] Urgent - Statement on Egyptian Internet restrictions

Michael Gurstein gurstein
Tue Feb 1 18:43:37 EET 2011

Excellent initiative and excellent statement.  I agree with the comments
made although the role of the Egyptian government in cutting off of the
Internet seems incontrovertible.
I also agree that there should be a pointer to the draft Charter (and
perhaps a statement somewhere in there about the interest in receiving
comments, collaborations, signatories etc.etc.

-----Original Message-----
From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
[mailto:irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of Lisa
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 3:15 AM
To: irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
Subject: [IRP] Urgent - Statement on Egyptian Internet restrictions
Importance: High

Hi all


I'd like to suggest that the IRP coalition issues a statement on the
Internet cuts and media disruptions in Egypt, in solidarity with the
protestors there.  Seeing how we've discussed in depth Internet access and
accessibility as a fundamental component of the Charter and of human rights
online, I really feel that we should condemn what's going on in Egypt.
Dixie and I have drafted a statement below.  Please could you respond ASAP
(by 15.00 GMT) to say whether you're happy for this to go out.  We can then
all send far and wide. 


Thanks and all the best,





The Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition urges the Egyptian
government to end its violation of the Egyptian people's rights to freedom
of expression and peaceful assembly by lifting restrictions on access to the
Internet and other Information and Communication Technologies.  


The Egyptian government has cut off all Internet access in the country.
Mobile phone networks have also been severely disrupted.  Restrictions have
also been placed on Egyptian and international media, including the blocking
of Al Jazeera's broadcast signal and seizure of its equipment. 


These actions are direct and serious violations of the rights of the
Egyptian people to freedom of expression and assembly. The right to freedom
of expression is enshrined in international law in Article 19 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Egypt
has ratified.  The right includes freedom to seek, receive and impart
information through any media, regardless of frontiers.   In modern society,
the Internet is fundamental for the fulfilment of the right to freedom of
expression.  It is also an essential tool for peaceful assembly, whether
online or offline, as protected by Article 21 of the ICCPR.  


These restrictions on communications access are a disproportionate and
unnecessary response to legitimate political protest.  The UN Human Rights
Council Resolution 12/16 states that it is never permissible for any
government to restrict peaceful demonstrations and political activities,
including those for democracy.  It also states that placing restrictions on
access to, or use of, information and communication technologies is never
permissible.  This includes access to radio, television and the Internet.


The explosion of information and communication technologies across the world
has brought with it unprecedented opportunities for the fulfilment of human
rights, social and economic development and democracy. These opportunities
must not be lost through misguided efforts to control online communication.


The Dynamic Coalition calls on the Egyptian government to restore the right
to freedom of expression and assembly in Egypt through removing all
restrictions on communication.  All professional and citizen journalists in
Egypt must be free to report on unfolding events through any media platform,
to national and international audiences.  All people must have full access
to the Internet, to mobile phones and SMS, and to national and international


About the Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition

The IRP DC is an international network of people who are working to uphold
human rights on and through the Internet.  The coalition is currently
undertaking a major project to draft a Charter of Human Rights and
Principles for the Internet.  This applies international human rights
standards to the Internet environment.  It outlines what human rights people
have when operating online, and what elements of Internet architecture need
to be protected in order to realise human rights to the fullest extent




Lisa Horner

Head of Research & Policy  Global Partners and Associates

338 City Road, London, EC1V 2PY, UK

Office: + 44 207 239 8251     Mobile: +44 7867 795859

 <mailto:lisah at global-partners.co.uk> LisaH at global-partners.co.uk
<http://www.global-partners.co.uk/> www.global-partners.co.uk 



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