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Press release: Closing down or limiting access to Internet is a serious breach of Article 19 of the Universal Charter of Human Rights

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– Now is the time to clarify that closing down, as recently in Egypt, or limiting the access to Internet, as in China and too many other countries, is a serious breach of article 19 of the Universal Charter of Human rights of the United Nations, said Gunnar Hökmark MEP, vice chairman of the EPP Group speaking at Centre for European Studies conference on “Freedom in the Days of the Internet”.

– Never before has so many people enjoyed freedom of expression as today. Thanks to technical achievements and the development of ever better software this freedom will encompass ever more citizens of our world. Availability of frequencies for mobile broadband, now processed in the European Parliament, will be an important element in securing access to information all over the world, underlined Gunnar Hökmark.

– But just these last days we have seen serious threats to this basic and central freedom. While the Internet played a pivotal role in the raising of the Egyptian citizens against dictatorship, the same dictatorship, in clear breach of the universal human rights, closed down the Internet in all Egypt.

The UN Charter declares that ”Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

– It is now our responsibility to focus on how to enforce this article when UN member states breach their commitments to Human rights, concluded Gunnar Hökmark