Sudan restricts social media access as largest opposition bloc calls for Al-Bashir to go - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان
Connect with us
[adrotate group="1"]

Middle East News

Sudan restricts social media access as largest opposition bloc calls for Al-Bashir to go

Sudan restricts social media access as largest opposition bloc calls for Al-Bashir to go CAIRO/DUBAI: Sudanese authorities are blocking access to popular social media platforms used to organize and broadcast nationwide anti-government protests triggered by an economic crisis, Internet users say.Sudan has been rocked by near-daily demonstrations over the past two weeks. Protesters have set…

Published

on

Sudan restricts social media access as largest opposition bloc calls for Al-Bashir to go

Sudan restricts social media access as largest opposition bloc calls for Al-Bashir to go

CAIRO/DUBAI: Sudanese authorities are blocking access to popular social media platforms used to organize and broadcast nationwide anti-government protests triggered by an economic crisis, Internet users say.Sudan has been rocked by near-daily demonstrations over the past two weeks. Protesters have set alight ruling party buildings and have called on President Omar Al-Bashir, who took power in 1989, to step down.In the latest to do so, Sudan’s largest opposition bloc joined calls on Wednesday by a wide array of political groups for Al-Bashir to step down, turning up the pressure on the longtime autocrat.Nidaa Al-Sudan, or Sudan’s Call, said in a statement Wednesday that it wanted Al-Bashir and his administration to go, and for a transition toward democracy to begin.Nidaa Al-Sudan comprises the Umma party of former Prime Minister Sadeq Al-Mahdi and rebel groups in the western Kordofan and Darfur regions, and the Blue Nile region south of Khartoum.In a country where the state tightly controls traditional media, the Internet has become a key information battleground. Of Sudan’s 40 million people, some 13 million use the Internet and more than 28 million own mobile phones, local media say.Authorities have not repeated the Internet blackout they imposed during deadly protests in 2013. But the head of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service, Salah Abdallah, told a rare news conference on Dec. 21: “There was a discussion in the government about blocking social media sites and in the end it was decided to block them.”Users of the three main telecommunications operators in the country — Zain, MTN and Sudani — said access to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp has only been possible through use of a virtual private network (VPN).Though VPNs can bring their own connection problems and some Sudanese are unaware of their existence, activists have used them widely to organize and document the demonstrations.Hashtags in Arabic such as “Sudan’s_cities_revolt” have been widely circulated from Sudan and abroad. Hashtags in English such as #SudanRevolts have also been used.“Social media has a really big impact, and it helps with forming public opinion and transmitting what’s happening in Sudan to the outside,” said Mujtaba Musa, a Sudanese Twitter user with over 50,000 followers who has been active in documenting the protests.NetBlocks, a digital rights NGO, said data it collected, including from thousands of Sudanese volunteers, provided evidence of “an extensive Internet censorship regime.”Bader Al-Kharafi, CEO of parent company Zain Group, told Reuters: “Some websites may be blocked for technical reasons beyond the company’s specialization.”Neither the National Telecommunications Corporation, which oversees the sector in Sudan, nor MTN or Sudani could be reached for comment. Twitter and Facebook, which also owns WhatsApp, declined to comment.“While Sudan has a long history of systematically censoring print and broadcast media, online media has been relatively untouched despite its exponential growth… in recent years,” said Mai Truong of US-based advocacy group Freedom House.“The authorities have only now started to follow the playbook of other authoritarian governments.” Al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 military coup, has ordered the use of force against protesters who have taken to the streets since Dec. 19 to demand his ouster. Authorities also arrested nearly two dozen opposition leaders.

(With Reuters and AP)

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

code

Middle East News

Two Israeli doctors infected with omicron, hospital says

BEIRUT: Demonstrators blocked roads across parts of Lebanon on Monday in protest at the country’s economic meltdown, days after its currency sank to new lows. There has been little progress since Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was appointed in September after more than a year of political deadlock. Roads were blocked by piles of burning…

Published

on

By

Two Israeli doctors infected with omicron, hospital says

BEIRUT: Demonstrators blocked roads across parts of Lebanon on Monday in protest at the country’s economic meltdown, days after its currency sank to new lows.

There has been little progress since Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was appointed in September after more than a year of political deadlock.

Roads were blocked by piles of burning tires in central Beirut, Tripoli in northern Lebanon and the southern city of Sidon.

Schools were forced to close in Beirut after the protests made them inaccessible to students. Protesters in the city’s southern suburbs, meanwhile, blocked the road to the airport in front of Al-Aytam station.

Less than 24 hours before the Beirut protests, residents of Ali Al-Nahri, in the Bekaa Valley, launched their own protests, shouting “we are cold and hungry.”

A spokesperson for the protesters said: “We will take to the streets more frequently in the coming days unless the governing authority put a stop to the deteriorating living conditions the Lebanese are facing.”

He added: “The people of Beirut are noble. They are fighting extremely hard for their city and their livelihood.

“They are not thieves, and today’s move does not have any political, electoral, parliamentary or ministerial dimension. Its sole purpose is the livelihood of citizens after a large number of students now go to school without any food.”

In a UNICEF report published last week, the agency said: “More than 30 percent of families have at least one child in Lebanon who skipped a meal, while 77 percent of families say they lack sufficient food and 60 percent of them buy food by accumulating unpaid bills or borrowing money.”

The protests coincided with President Michel Aoun’s visit to Qatar to attend the opening of the FIFA Arab Cup and inaugurate the new Olympic Stadium.

The president discussed Lebanon’s economic meltdown and unprecedented diplomatic crisis with Gulf states during his talks with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Al-Thani reiterated Qatar’s readiness to help in all areas needed for the rise of Lebanon from the “difficult circumstances it is going through.”

He announced that Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani will visit Beirut in the coming period, to follow up on the developments and provide the country with necessary assistance.

He hoped for “a resolution for the crisis between Lebanon and a number of Gulf states in the near future, especially as Lebanon has always stood by all the Arab and Gulf states.”

Aoun welcomed any “investment from Qatar to implement developmental projects in Lebanon in the area of energy, electricity and banking, where there are many opportunities.”

Qatar will continue to stand by the Lebanese people and to do anything in its power to alleviate their suffering, said the president.

“There was a consensus that this phase needs the brotherly Arab states, especially the Gulf states, to stand by Lebanon,” said Aoun.

He pointed out that the Lebanese-Gulf relations “always were, and must remain, based on mutual fraternity.”

Aoun stressed the need to overcome any defects in these ties, notably because Lebanon desires to the best relations with brotherly states.

“My presence in Doha today only confirms our commitment to those relations and our genuine desire to cooperate on keeping them serene and restoring them to a normal state, thus serving Lebanon and the brotherly Gulf states,” he said.

Aoun’s remarks came as Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi took a firm position against “attempts to change Lebanon in order to impose a new governing formula by force or persuasion.”

In a televised speech broadcast on Monday, Al-Rahi touched on the secretary-general of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, reprimanding judicial authorities, asking: “Is he above the judicial authority?”

Al-Rahi said the country “is highly influenced by Hezbollah.”

He asked: “In contrast, where is the state and where is the president of the republic? Why are they submissive if someone is intimidating us?”

He noted that “the one disrupting the government is practically disrupting the life of the homeland and causing the hunger of citizens.”

Continue Reading

Middle East News

Iran makes maximalist demands as Vienna nuclear talks open

BEIRUT: Demonstrators blocked roads across parts of Lebanon on Monday in protest at the country’s economic meltdown, days after its currency sank to new lows. There has been little progress since Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was appointed in September after more than a year of political deadlock. Roads were blocked by piles of burning…

Published

on

By

Iran makes maximalist demands as Vienna nuclear talks open

BEIRUT: Demonstrators blocked roads across parts of Lebanon on Monday in protest at the country’s economic meltdown, days after its currency sank to new lows.

There has been little progress since Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was appointed in September after more than a year of political deadlock.

Roads were blocked by piles of burning tires in central Beirut, Tripoli in northern Lebanon and the southern city of Sidon.

Schools were forced to close in Beirut after the protests made them inaccessible to students. Protesters in the city’s southern suburbs, meanwhile, blocked the road to the airport in front of Al-Aytam station.

Less than 24 hours before the Beirut protests, residents of Ali Al-Nahri, in the Bekaa Valley, launched their own protests, shouting “we are cold and hungry.”

A spokesperson for the protesters said: “We will take to the streets more frequently in the coming days unless the governing authority put a stop to the deteriorating living conditions the Lebanese are facing.”

He added: “The people of Beirut are noble. They are fighting extremely hard for their city and their livelihood.

“They are not thieves, and today’s move does not have any political, electoral, parliamentary or ministerial dimension. Its sole purpose is the livelihood of citizens after a large number of students now go to school without any food.”

In a UNICEF report published last week, the agency said: “More than 30 percent of families have at least one child in Lebanon who skipped a meal, while 77 percent of families say they lack sufficient food and 60 percent of them buy food by accumulating unpaid bills or borrowing money.”

The protests coincided with President Michel Aoun’s visit to Qatar to attend the opening of the FIFA Arab Cup and inaugurate the new Olympic Stadium.

The president discussed Lebanon’s economic meltdown and unprecedented diplomatic crisis with Gulf states during his talks with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Al-Thani reiterated Qatar’s readiness to help in all areas needed for the rise of Lebanon from the “difficult circumstances it is going through.”

He announced that Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani will visit Beirut in the coming period, to follow up on the developments and provide the country with necessary assistance.

He hoped for “a resolution for the crisis between Lebanon and a number of Gulf states in the near future, especially as Lebanon has always stood by all the Arab and Gulf states.”

Aoun welcomed any “investment from Qatar to implement developmental projects in Lebanon in the area of energy, electricity and banking, where there are many opportunities.”

Qatar will continue to stand by the Lebanese people and to do anything in its power to alleviate their suffering, said the president.

“There was a consensus that this phase needs the brotherly Arab states, especially the Gulf states, to stand by Lebanon,” said Aoun.

He pointed out that the Lebanese-Gulf relations “always were, and must remain, based on mutual fraternity.”

Aoun stressed the need to overcome any defects in these ties, notably because Lebanon desires to the best relations with brotherly states.

“My presence in Doha today only confirms our commitment to those relations and our genuine desire to cooperate on keeping them serene and restoring them to a normal state, thus serving Lebanon and the brotherly Gulf states,” he said.

Aoun’s remarks came as Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi took a firm position against “attempts to change Lebanon in order to impose a new governing formula by force or persuasion.”

In a televised speech broadcast on Monday, Al-Rahi touched on the secretary-general of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, reprimanding judicial authorities, asking: “Is he above the judicial authority?”

Al-Rahi said the country “is highly influenced by Hezbollah.”

He asked: “In contrast, where is the state and where is the president of the republic? Why are they submissive if someone is intimidating us?”

He noted that “the one disrupting the government is practically disrupting the life of the homeland and causing the hunger of citizens.”

Continue Reading

Middle East News

Kuwait Times Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Daily E- Paper – Kuwait Times   Click above icon to download full news paper   The post Kuwait Times Tuesday, November 30, 2021 appeared first on Kuwait Times.

Published

on

By

Kuwait Times Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Daily E- Paper – Kuwait Times

 

Click above icon to download full news paper

 

The post Kuwait Times Tuesday, November 30, 2021 appeared first on Kuwait Times.

Continue Reading
error: Content is protected !!