Statement of solidarity with the Internet governance community in Afghanistan and Myanmar

Sep 13, 2021 | News

This is a statement by members of the APrIGF community (comprising of individuals and organisations in their own capacity), and not AN official statement of the APrIGF MSG.

We, the undersigned individuals and organisations who are members of the APrIGF community, are deeply concerned with the developments in Afghanistan and Myanmar.

As members of the multistakeholder community, which promotes and defends the open, free and universally accessible Internet and web, and empowers people for their fundamental rights and liberties across Asia and the Pacific region including Afghanistan and Myanmar, we are calling for the recognition of humanity in one another. We acknowledge and stand in solidarity with those who champion universal human rights and liberties, and the free usage of the Internet. We understand that the ongoing situation in these countries is felt at the individual and collective levels. 

We stand with the local Internet communities and Internet Governance advocates in Afghanistan and Myanmar who continue to contribute to the betterment of our digital futures. We appreciate and support their efforts in providing training, continuing dialogues, and engaging in collaborative efforts to advance and maintain an open, secure and safe Internet for all.. We are committed to assisting them in using their voices to connect all people in Afghanistan and Myanmar to the Internet and support their rights both online and offline.

We plead with the global internet community to help ensure the safety of all individuals including that of digital rights workers, members of the technical community, civil society and academia. Also, we call on all parties to recognise and respect the immense contribution made by the women of Afghanistan and Myanmar  to the development of the internet and to ensure their access to information remains unaffected.

We reiterate the critical role of Internet infrastructure in the countries, and the need for it to remain operational. We commit to providing all the help we can and demand that critical infrastructure be protected from interference and destruction. We also invite, and ask the Internet community to do all they can to ensure unrestricted, open and uninterrupted access to the Internet and web in Afghanistan and Myanmar. 

For our friends and colleagues in Afghanistan and Myanmar, we will remain open to your continued contribution to our communities and we will proactively and productively engage with you to help you remain secure while serving the development of the Internet.

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