Libya blocks access to Internet
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Libyan government has cut off Internet access in the country. The , Libya's main provider of Internet access, has ceased to function. It was shut down following citizen protests against the country's leader, Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, who has been in power since 1969.
The government of Egypt took a similar measure last month, when it cut off Internet trying to quell public protests against the regime. Despite the government's efforts, Egyptians who took to the streets for two weeks were able to oust the nation's president, Hosni Mubarak, after 30 years in office.
Limited access to the Internet makes it difficult to get information from the country. Libya is a country with a smaller population than Egypt, and has fewer service providers, which has apparently made the task of disconnecting everything a little easier.
In Egypt, the military refused to attack people protesting. The situation is different in Libya, where the armed forces attacked hundreds of demonstrators in the square of the city of Benghazi, causing many deaths.
The increasing violence in Libya has prompted the 27 European Union ministers to issue a statement protesting Libyan governmental violence toward protesters, saying it "condemns the ongoing repression against demonstrators in Libya and deplores the violence and death of civilians." Two Libyan pilots have defected to Malta and asked for asylum, saying that they were ordered to fire on protesters, according to Maltese officials.
The violence has spread to Tripoli. Witnesses have reported that a "massacre" occurred today in suburbs of the Libyan capital with the indiscriminate shooting of women and children. According to , hundreds have died over the last four days.
The escalating violence is causing turbulence in the world energy markets. The International Monetary Fund says that energy exports accounts for approximately 95% of Libya's export earning.
- "Hosni Mubarak steps down as president of Egypt" — Wikinews, February 11, 2011
- "Egypt anti-government protests continue, Internet shut down" — Wikinews, January 28, 2011
- Reuters. "Libya cuts internet access" — , Feb 20, 2011
- AFP. "Internet cut off in Libya: Arbor Networks" — , Feb 19, 2011
- Reuters. "Amid Sweeping Protests, Libya Shuts Down Web Access" — , Feb 20, 2011
- Bob Drogin and Jeffrey Fleishman. "European Union condemns Libya violence; protests flare in Tripoli" — , February 21, 2011
- Reporting by Christopher Scicluna; editing by Diana Abdallah. "Two Libyan pilots defect, say ordered to bomb protesters" — , February 21, 2011
- "Witnesses report 'massacre' in Tripoli" — , February 21, 2011
- Thomas Mucha. "Libya unrest spooks oil firms and markets" — , February 21, 2011