6 September 2017

Togo: Govt Slows Internet Ahead of Opposition Demonstration

The Internet is slowed down in Togo as the opposition announced a demonstration for this Wednesday and Thursday. Citizens had trouble communicating on the Internet this morning, while rumors of a cut were circulating since last night. Public Service Minister Gilbert Bawara told a local radio that this was for security reasons.

Citizens say the purpose of the cut would be to prevent the coordination and media coverage of an opposition demonstration announced for Wednesday and Thursday.

Discussions on social networks show that people are looking for advice on using VPNs, which is used to bypass censorship, but it cannot help when connections are down.

The opposition is protesting against Constitutional reform recently announced by President Faure Gnassingbé, aimed at amending the presidential mandates. The Togolese fear violent repression of the demonstrations, since soldiers were seen occupying strategic places in the capital Lomé.

Demonstrators were attacked in August, resulting in several deaths.

Translated from French by Michael Tantoh

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