Updated: February 26, 2021
The ban on social media platforms in the central African country of Chad, which has been in force since 2018, has been extended by the court.
An Appeals court ruled on Thursday that the government of Idriss Deby Itno has the right to extend the blackout on several social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.
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The controversial ruling came after lawyers sought help from the court to lift the social media ban.
The Appeals Court struck out the case, allowing the government to continue the blackout.
For a year now, Chadians have been unable to use some social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp.
The state argues that these applications have helped organize anti-government protests which threaten internal security and peace.
The blockade was imposed when a national conference recommended changes to the constitution to allow president Idriss Deby Itno to continue in office until 2033.
The government has remained indifferent to calls by internet rights groups and advocates for the ban to be lifted.
Why it matters: Chad is not the only African country to have switched off the internet or restrict its usage for political and security reasons.
Gabon did so briefly in the face of a coup attempt early this year. Cameroon also shut down internet in its troubled English-speaking regions for 230 days in 2017 when it was faced with civil unrest.
Sudan, currently suffering anti-government protests imposed a similar measure but has since restored the signal. Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, cut signal after the December 2018 polls. It was only restored after a president was declared in the person of Felix Tshisekedi.