For Immediate Release
Amnesty International Calls for Restoration of Internet Services in Egypt to Allow Free Flow of Information
Organization Welcomes Military Commitment Not to Fire on Peaceful Protesters
LONDON - Amnesty International today called
for the restoration of internet services in Egypt, after Noor, the one
remaining provider in Egypt, was cut off. The human rights organization
said the free flow of information was crucial to bring to light abuse that
has occurred during the uprising and to protect the right to freedom of
expression without fear or interference.
“Protesters have shown that they can organize
massive demonstrations with or without the internet – but what is crucial
now is the free flow of information so that evidence on the abuses and
killings that have occurred in the past week can be brought to light, and
those responsible brought to account,” said Malcolm Smart, director, Amnesty
International’s Middle East and North Africa program.
The human rights organization said it welcomed
the military’s commitment not to fire on peaceful protesters. Amnesty
International has repeatedly raised concerns about the excessive use of
force by security forces during the demonstrations. “Protecting the right
to demonstrate peacefully is a duty,” said Claudio Cordone, senior director
at Amnesty International.
Media reports said hundreds of thousands of
people had gathered for what organizers dubbed a ‘Million Man’ protest
calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down and corruption, poverty
and police abuses to end.
Amnesty International staff present at the protest reported troops carrying
out searches at entry and exit points and a heavy guard presence at the
Egyptian Museum of Antiquities.
In Washington, DC, Amnesty International USA
organized a rally outside the Egyptian embassy to show solidarity with
peaceful demonstrations in Egypt.
Protesters have accused plainclothes police
agents and criminals in the pay of the police of carrying out looting in
the past week in order to discredit the demonstrations.
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