NAYPYIDAW: The people are at risk of having their rights violated in areas where Internet access has been cut off by the government.
This has prompted 105 civil society organisations to urge the government to restore services in Rakhine and Chin states, according to The Myanmar Times.
On Feb 3, the government shut down Internet access in Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Rathedaung and Myebon townships in Rakhine and Paletwa in Chin.
Rakhine state civil society organisations for peace spokes-man, U Khaing Kaung San, said denying Internet access to people violated their human rights.
“Cutting off Internet access, especially in conflict-torn areas, might encourage human rights violation, and civilian organisations are worried that the situation could worsen.”
He added that Rakhine was not the only conflict area in Myanmar.
The organisations vowed to continue fighting for the restoration of Internet access in Rakhine and Chin, and to protect and care for children, women and civilians in accordance with local and international laws.
Among the 105 organisations seeking the restoration of Internet access in Rakhine and Chin are the Shan State Peace Organisation, Peace Committee of Rakhine State Civilian Organisation, Rakhine Women’s Network, Rakhine Women’s Union and the Rakhine State Peace and Stability Support Team.
“In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, prohibiting people from access to information is a human rights violation.
“The government act intentionally violates human rights. And this is supposed to be a democratic government, so we need to put a spotlight on this issue,” Khaing said.
Last year, the government had also blocked Internet access in several townships in the two states, but had since reconnected the service, prior to the recent shutdown.