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Stockholm
SkyLine International condemned on Thursday, January 24, 2019 the ongoing ban of some social media sites in the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The Stockholm- based organization stated that the Zimbabwean authorities continue to block the applications of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp owing to the protests in the country two weeks ago.

The Zimbabwean authorities completely shut down the Internet by a decision of the Minister of Defense for a week, before the Supreme Court force the government to return the Internet,” said Muath Hamed, the organization’s secretary-general.

The government’s decision was a legal offence that allowed a brutal crackdown on the opposition, prompting fears that the country would return to dictatorial rule under Robert Mugabe, who gave up power after the 2017 pressure.

According to the Supreme Court decision, the Minister of Security has no authority to make a decision to close the Internet, which is exclusively one of the President’s powers. The decision also ordered the government to resume provision of the Internet unconditionally to all subscribers immediately.

Muath Hamed pointed out that despite the return of the Internet to the country after a week of interruption, the applications of social media sites are still in a state of closure and does not work.

The organization condemned the large-scale arrests of activists and demonstrators who protested against the country’s poor economic conditions and increased fuel prices. The number of detainees reached more than 600.

According to human rights reports, more than 12 demonstrators were shot dead by police and hundreds were injured.

Hamid called on the Zimbabwean government to abide by its international commitments by allowing freedom of expression and non-exposure to demonstrators, and not restricting access to the Internet, because it contravenes the international conventions and norms that provide freedom of expression.