4 April 2014

Gambians Experience Interruptions in Use of Mobile Chat Applications

press release

Less than a year after The Gambia passed a stiff information and communication law to stifle freedom of expression online, Gambians are reportedly experiencing interruptions while using some mobile chat applications.

According to MFWA's sources, for about a month, citizens who have been using Viber and other free applications such as FreePP and Line for making international calls and sending messages using the internet, have been complaining of interrupted calls whenever they make international calls.

While it is believed that this is being orchestrated by the country's Ministry of Information Technology to prevent Gambians from informing friends and family oversees about the conditions in the country, others believe telecommunication companies in the country are behind it, since people are no longer buying call credits for foreign calls.

Meanwhile Lamin Camara, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information Technology, has denied that the Gambian authorities are behind the blockage.

He is reported to have said in an interview with The Standard newspaper in the country that "there are hiccups or technical faults with networks, and they want to blame it on government. I can tell you that there is nothing on the side of the government to block the service. "

The MFWA is concerned about this development in The Gambia and urges the Ministry of Information Technology to liaise with the telecommunication companies to resolve the issue.

- Media Foundation for West Africa

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