Sudan court orders end to internet cut but services still offline

Online access in Sudan has largely been blocked since October 25, the day of a widely condemned military coup, and phone lines have also been intermittently disrupted.

Sudanese people protest against a military coup that overthrew the transition to civilian rule, on 25 October 2021 in the capital Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman. Sudan's top general declared a state of emergency and dissolved the authorities leading the country's democratic transition today, after soldiers detained civilian leaders in what the UN condemned as a 'coup'. Picture: AFP

KHARTOUM, Sudan - A Sudanese court ruled Tuesday that internet services cut during a military coup more than two weeks ago must be restored, a lawyer said.

However, the country remained largely offline early Tuesday, despite the court's directive to internet service providers.

"The ruling by Khartoum district court ordered internet services to be resumed immediately," lawyer Abdelazim Hassan told AFP.

The case was brought by a group of lawyers and the Sudanese consumers protection society, he said, adding that the court had also ruled services should run during a possible appeals process.

Online access in Sudan has largely been blocked since October 25, the day of a widely condemned military coup, and phone lines have also been intermittently disrupted.

Sudan's top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency and detained the civilian leadership.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was detained, then placed under effective house arrest.

The day after the coup Burhan blamed online media for instigating "sedition" but also promised that "the internet services will gradually return".

Scores of pro-democracy activists have been arrested since the coup, which triggered nationwide protests and a crackdown that left at least 14 people dead, according to medics.