Internet service has been restored in Sudan after a three-week shutdown ordered by military rulers, but only for one person — a lawyer.
It is not clear whether lawyer Abdel-Adheem Hassan is willing to share, but what is clear is that he is the only person in all of Sudan who is now able to access the World Wide Web, the BBC is reporting.
Hassan is able to enjoy the privilege of surfing the Internet, Googling little-known facts and IMing people all over the globe because he filed a personal lawsuit against telecoms operator Zain Sudan against the blackout.
Military rulers ordered the shutdown after security forces dispersed protesters in Khartoum who are seeking to end military rule after April’s coup against long-time leader Omar al-Bashir, according to the BBC.
Hassan plans to reach back, however, and help his fellow Sudan residents. On Tuesday, he plans to return to court to win the right for more Sudanese people to access the web.
“We have a court session tomorrow and another one the day after tomorrow,” he told the news organization. “Hopefully, 1 million people will gain Internet access by the end of the week.”
Hassan also told the BBC that the Internet operator failed to issue appropriate instructions for the web to be shut down.
“Everybody is trying to avoid responsibility, nobody wants to be personally liable,” Hassan said. “It’s a crime and an international human rights violation.”
Most people know what an inconvenience and a discomfort it would be to go without the Internet for any extent of time, but the shutdown also amounts to a violation because it blocks people from basic information they need to live their lives, critics are saying.
On Monday, the United Nations called on Sudanese military authorities to end “repression” against protesters, the BBC reports.
Michelle Bachelet, U.N. human rights chief, called on Sudan’s military government to end the World Wide Web shutdown during a U.S. meeting in Geneva.