Sudan crisis: Internet restored – but only for lawyer
A lawyer in Sudan has told the BBC that the internet has been restored after a three-week shutdown – but only for him.
Abdel-Adheem Hassan on Sunday won a lawsuit against telecoms operator Zain Sudan over the blackout ordered by Sudan’s military rulers.
However, he says his victory is only benefitting him so far as he filed the case in a personal capacity.
The internet was cut off after security forces violently dispersed protesters camping in central Khartoum.
The protesters want an end to military rule following the coup against long-time leader Omar al-Bashir in April.
Mr Hassan said he is currently the only civilian in the country able to access the internet without resorting to complicated hacks.
He said he is going back to court on Tuesday to win the right for more Sudanese people.
“We have a court session tomorrow and another one the day after tomorrow. Hopefully one million people will gain internet access by the end of the week,” Mr Hassan added.
BBC Arabic reporter Mohamed Osman in Khartoum confirms that the internet remains blocked despite Sunday’s court order.
Mr Hassan told the BBC: “The operator failed to provide written orders to disconnect the internet.
“Everybody is trying to avoid responsibility, nobody wants to be personally liable – it’s a crime and an international human rights violation.”
On Monday, the United Nations urged Sudanese authorities to grant human rights monitors to access the country and end “repression” against protesters.
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on the military government to end the internet shutdown during her opening speech at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
What has happened in Sudan?
Sudan’s military removed long-time President Bashir from office in April after months of protests and unrest.
A council of generals assumed power on 11 April but it has struggled to return normality to the country.
The seven-member Transitional Military Council (TMC) is led by Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan. The council says it needs to be in charge to ensure order and security.
But the protesters want a civilian rule.
The council has faced international condemnation for launching a violent attack on protesters in Khartoum on 3 June which reportedly left at least 30 dead.
What will happen?
Most African and Western countries have backed the protesters.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed flew to Sudan to try and broker an agreement between the TMC and the protesters earlier this month.
On Sunday, the council rejected Ethiopia’s proposal which the protesters had agreed to on Saturday – on the grounds that they had not studied the Ethiopian initiative, which they described as unilateral.
BBC’s Mohanad Hashim, a Sudanese journalist, says that there is real fear the situation in Sudan could turn very bad very quickly.