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Supporters of the ruling party are seen in Bugendana, Burundi, on April 27, 2020. CPJ recently joined a letter calling on Burundi to maintain internet access during the elections. (AP/Berthier Mugiraneza)

CPJ joins call urging Burundi to maintain internet access during elections

May 19, 2020 12:10 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists yesterday joined 30 other rights organizations in a joint letter urging the government of Burundi to ensure that the internet remains accessible before, during, and after the presidential elections scheduled for tomorrow.

In the letter, addressed to President Pierre Nkurunziza, the organizations, which are part of the #KeepItOn coalition against internet shutdowns, also call for the unblocking of all independent media websites and a guarantee that the public will be informed about any potential internet disruptions. Currently, at least three independent news websites are blocked in Burundi, according to the letter.

Burundi’s elections are taking place amid a hostile environment for the media, including the ongoing detention of four journalists from the Iwacu news website and government bans on the BBC and Voice of America broadcasters, as CPJ has documented.

Read the letter in full here.