Zimbabwe: Internet

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 31st January 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Stroud Baroness Stroud Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the government of Zimbabwe has instructed internal providers to disconnect and restrict internet access.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

We are aware that the Zimbabwean government shut down the internet and blocked a number of social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp from 15 January.

On 17 January, the Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin MP, summoned the Zimbabwean Ambassador and urged the Zimbabwean government to stop the disproportionate use of force, investigate any alleged human rights violations and restore full access to the internet. On 21 January the Foreign Secretary repeated the call in a public message to President Mnangagwa.

We welcome the 21 January ruling of the Zimbabwean High Court that overturned the government decision to shut down the internet.

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