Calls to boycott phone operators on anniversary of communications blackout

Several activists called for boycotting mobile phone operators on 28 January, the day mobile phone networks were disabled last year during the revolution.

Activists have launched several campaigns calling on people to turn off their mobile phones in remembrance of the martyrs who were killed during the revolution.

On 28 January, the regime of President Hosni Mubarak cut off mobile and internet services at the peak of the anti-government demonstrations.

At least 800 people were killed during the 18 days of protests that toppled Mubarak, and more than 6,000 were wounded by live ammunition, rubber bullets, water cannons and batons.

One of the Facebook events calling for boycotting the service on 28 January is entitled “I will turn off my mobile phone on 28 January”, and another is called “Remember”.

One message read, “Show them you exist like they did … Make them appreciate your value.”

It also said “Remember the martyr who died wanting to hear the voice of his mother. Don’t say I will harm the country’s economy or make these companies lose; remember how much the economy lost on 28 January 2011 and how much you lost too.”

Telecoms operator Vodafone has said it and two other mobile operators legally had no option but to comply with an order from the authorities to suspend services in selected areas of the country

An Egyptian court in May did not hold the three mobile phone operators in Egypt responsible for the suspension of the service, instead fining Mubarak and two former officials LE540 million for ordering the cut off.

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