Trumpism in Gambia: "marbles" election sparks internet shutdown

Deji writes, "Gambia is a small country but this story is pretty crazy. The president, who is seeking his 6th term, is using Trump rhetoric surrounding the 'rigging of elections.' People are voting by using marbles. Meanwhile, opposition activists and journalists have been arrested — and the government STILL shut off the internet. It seems the president has lost his marbles."

Rights groups have already documented a worrying deterioration in the climate for human rights in the small West African country. Earlier this week #KeepitOn member Human Rights Foundation excoriated President Yahya Jammeh for the arrest of 19 activists, who has since called for a ban on protests — which would violate the right to freedom of assembly.

The #KeepitOn campaign includes more than 100 organizations from nearly 50 countries, including leading civil society organizations from countries that are directly impacted by shutdowns. In July 2016, the U.N. Human Rights Council unequivocally condemned internet disruptions, and through the Global Network Initiative, technology companies spoke out against them. The world's largest technology association, the GSM Association, issued strong guidelines on what it calls Service Restriction Orders.

Gambia shuts down internet on eve of elections
[Deji Olukotun/Access Now]