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Myanmar

Myanmar internet blackout hinders Covid-19 fight

Rights groups warn shutdown will worsen healthcare situation and affect humanitarian aid

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Myanmar internet blackout hinders Covid-19 fight

Rohingya children and elders gather at the Thet Kel Pyin camp in Myanmar's Rakhine state during Eid celebrations in August 2018. (Photo: Phyo Hein Kyaw/AFP)

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On June 21, Myanmar’s internet blackout in Rakhine and Chin states entered its second year, becoming the world’s longest internet shutdown.

Local campaigners and rights groups have pressured the government to lift the year-long internet blackout amid the global Covid-19 pandemic.

In western Rakhine and Chin states, about one million people have been in the dark since last June due to the internet blackout imposed by the state. The government banned internet access in nine townships, citing security concerns.

Rights groups are worried that the blackout may exacerbate the already precarious healthcare situation in the country’s two poor states, undermine access to information about Covid-19 and hinder the humanitarian aid to displaced people.

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