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Al-Shabab announce ban on internet in Somalia

The rebel group said anyone who doesn't comply will be "considered to be working with the enemy and they will be dealt with in accordance Sharia law"

By Milana Knezevic / 9 January 2014


People in territories controlled by al-Shabab are banned from using “mobile internet and fiber optic technology”, the group announced in a radio message and subsequent written statement on Wednesday. Internet service providers have been given 15 days to comply with the ban.

The country’s two main ISPs, Hortel Inc and Nationlink Telecom, had this morning yet to respond to the demands, reports Al Jazeera English. Details on how such a ban would be effectively implemented and enforced, beyond that those found to be in violation of it would be “considered to be working with the enemy” and “dealt with in accordance Sharia law” were not provided.

While al-Shabab has lost some footing in recent times, especially in urban areas, they still hold control in many rural parts in the country. This is not the first time that control has been used to crack down on access to freedom of expression. Late last year, the group banned use of smart phones and satellite TV. Previously, they have banned BBC radio broadcasts.

This latest moved comes not long after news that Somalia is to get high speed internet from 2014.



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About Milana Knezevic

Milana Knezevic is the Assistant Editor, Online and News of Index on Censorship


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