President Biya’s 30-year regime has responded to protests in Anglophone regions of Cameroon by cutting off access to the internet, including critical communications resources like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Cameroon's Constitution guarantees equal status for the English and French languages, but in practice, the government imposes French through courts, schools, and other public institutions. This has led to cases of discrimination and marginalization, and growing protests in Anglophone communities.
Since the most recent blackout began on October 1st, 2017, the government has deployed military units to suppress unrest. Police have reportedly shot and killed at least 20 protesters, while hundreds more are being arbitrarily detained in overcrowded prisons.
Internet shutdowns like this one are detrimental to human rights. Earlier this year, Cameroon’s Anglophone communities were thrown into darkness during a 93-day shutdown, limiting access to important news, communications with loved ones, and basic activities of everyday life. It cost the economy at least $4.5 million in a country where millions live on less than two dollars a day.
Thanks to the commitment of local activists and support from people like you across the globe, Cameroon’s government restored access to the internet for all people in April. Let’s fight together again to #BringBackOurInternet and #KeepItOn. Send the tweets to the right to stand with the people of Cameroon.
By taking action to demand the Cameroonian government #BringBackOurInternet, you are helping to ensure targeted communities can stay safe and be empowered with the tools they need to organize for change. You’re also strengthening the global movement to end internet shutdowns, which have impacted the lives of millions, from India to Togo to Brazil.
Access Now and our partners also sent a letter to the Cameroonian government urgently requesting restored access to the whole internet in all regions, and a public commitment to #KeepItOn.