Amnesty criticizes Pakistan’s internet shutdown as a direct assault on people’s rights
Amnesty International has strongly criticized Pakistan’s decision to shut down the internet and suspend cellular services on election day, labeling it a “reckless assault on people’s rights.”
Livia Saccardi, Interim Deputy Director for South Asia at Amnesty International, expressed concern on the micro-blogging site “X” (formerly Twitter), stating, “Suspending telecommunications and mobile internet services on an election day is a direct attack on the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Saccardi emphasized the gravity of restricting access to information amid recent bomb blasts and a crackdown on opposition in the run-up to the elections, describing it as “reckless.” Amnesty International called on Pakistani authorities to lift all blanket restrictions on internet access immediately, urging them to uphold human rights during this critical period.
Similarly, Access Now, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and the #KeepItOn coalition condemned the government’s suspension of mobile services nationwide, demanding the immediate restoration of full internet access. They stressed that with millions relying on the internet for crucial voting information, such actions jeopardize democracy and must be rectified to safeguard people’s rights to freely choose their representatives.