No Internet access in Rakhine State, Myanmar

An Internet shutdown in Myanmar’s conflict-hit Rakhine state went into its fifth week on July 22, 2019. Mobile phone operators suspended Internet data on 21 June in eight townships across northern Rakhine and one in the neighbouring Chin state, where soldiers are fighting Rakhine rebels known as the ‘Arakan Army (AA)’ that are seeking greater autonomy.

The shutdown has disrupted daily life and is creating fear among residents who are struggling to get news, which include flooding updates in the state.

The Human Rights Council in Geneva has been told by the special rapporteur on rights in Myanmar that the international community is ‘beginning to overlook’ the crisis of Rohingya. Myanmar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications justifies the shutdown referring to ‘disturbance of peace and use of Internet to co-ordinate illegal activities’.