From Human Rights Watch.
New telecommunications and internet restrictions on Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh will disrupt critical humanitarian and emergency services, Human Rights Watch said today. The network shutdown imposed on camp locations in Teknaf and Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar severely limits communications and access to information for nearly one million refugees.
On September 9, 2019, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission directed all telecommunication operators to shut down 3G and 4G services in the camps, media reports said. Camp residents report that high-speed service has been shut down since September 10. A week earlier, the government had ordered a shutdown of all 3G and 4G services between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. While 2G services appear to remain available, this may only allow limited calls and text messaging. The Bangladesh government should immediately lift the restrictions.
“The Bangladesh government has a responsibility to ensure safety and security in the Rohingya camps, but shutting down internet access isn’t the way to do it,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Restricting communications in the refugee camps will hinder desperately needed services, worsening already dire living conditions and putting lives at risk.”
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