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STOCKHOLM – Skyline International criticized the Sudanese authorities for blocking social media in the country amid protests against rising prices and deteriorating living conditions.

The Stockholm-based human rights organization said in a press release that this measure violated the right of Sudanese, who are legally protected by the use of social media and expression, and a flagrant restriction of public freedoms.

Skyline International received complaints that social media sites were suspended in Sudan. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were blocked. In addition, WhatsApp and Imo applications were also blocked in Al-Khartoum and a number of areas that witnessed protests.

Skyline International warned that these steps are aimed at covering the ongoing repression of the protests to separate opponents and prevent the spread of information about government practices.

It condemned the government intervention in social media activities, as blocking the Internet has no basis in the law, which is another disproportionate and excessive response to the protests, raising serious concerns regarding the objectives of this expanded censorship.

Skyline International also confirmed that the use of the blocking tool is repressive and illegal and does not conceal the truth and cannot cover the violations that may be experienced by participants in the popular protests in Sudan and constitute a flagrant restriction of public freedoms and the right to opinion and expression.

The organization called on the Sudanese authorities to immediately withdraw their repressive measures and end any restrictions on access social media sites and Internet. It also called for serious action by the United Nations and related organizations to stop the escalation of violations of public freedoms in Sudan.