Egypt: Regimes cannot overcome the power of people communicating in solidarity
, January 2011
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) joins the global solidarity and social justice movement in affirming our support to and solidarity with the Egyptian people as they take to the streets in the struggle for democratic reform and human rights.
“People have had enough, tens of thousands of Egyptians are in the streets protesting in numerous cities, defying the imposed curfew and demanding Mubarak leave. They are no longer fearful. This regime is going down and things will never go back to what they used to be,” said Manal Hassan, Egyptian activist and blogger who works with APC’s Feminist Technology Exchange training team, today.
“The total communication shut down — of mobiles, the internet and now even landlines— is beyond what was anticipated,” Leila Hassanin of APC member ArabDev wrote. “In hindsight this was to be expected with the government having complete control over telecoms but it shows how panicked the regime is.”
Internet rights, such as access to the internet, and the freedom to use it to speak out against repression, must be guaranteed by all governments. This is a foundational part of the the right to freedom of expression and association, to which the international community have committed through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“The power of people communicating in solidarity and joint action is a power that even the most over-confident rulers and regimes cannot overcome, not in the long term”, said APC’s executive director Anriette Esterhuysen.
“New technologies such as the internet and mobile phones strengthen, connects and amplify this power. What is happening in Egypt at the moment, and what has happened in Tunisia recently, is a demonstration of people’s outrage and courage in the face of long term repression.”
Statement from the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition [pdf], of which APC is a member