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SIM Card Protest Against Regime’s Surveillance



SIM Card Protest Against Regime's Surveillance
Image source: Defi Media

In a spirited demonstration against the compulsory re-registration of SIM cards, protesters gathered yesterday in the capital, though not in the massive numbers typical of major rallies.

Organized by the ‘Kolektif Pa Tous Nou Sim Card’, the demonstrators fervently denounced the impending deadline of April 30 for this procedure, highlighting concerns over state surveillance and repression.

Amidst the chants and banners in Port Louis on Saturday, March 23, the organizers emphasized the necessity of voicing dissent against what they see as a perilous encroachment on citizen freedoms.

Percy Yip Tong, a member of the collective, rallied the crowd, stating, “I am proud that you have mobilized. Some may fear, some may be sheep, but this is about our freedom.”

Before the march commenced, Lyndee Lutchmiah addressed the participants, raising unanswered questions about the SIM card re-registration process.

“Why now? Where will our data be stored? What guarantees do we have that our personal data will be secure?” she queried.

The protest saw a diverse array of activists, including Bruneau Laurette, and both parliamentary opposition members like Ehsan Juman and Stephanie Anquetil, as well as non-parliamentary figures such as Patrick Belcourt from ‘En Avant Moris’, Rama Sithanen, and Nando Bodha from ‘Linion Moris’, among others.

Each expressed concerns about the re-registration process, particularly as the country stands on the brink of general elections.

“The timing of SIM card registration is not innocent,” remarked Anquetil, while Juman drew attention to the Prime Minister’s recent justification of the exercise by referencing a drug inquiry commission recommendation.

Juman questioned the necessity of such a measure on the eve of general elections when the report is not recent.

Narendranath Gopee, a unionist present at the march, denounced the government’s use of state machinery for population surveillance.

Meanwhile, Rajen Narsinghen, a former lecturer at the University of Mauritius, expressed disappointment at the courts’ failure to suspend the SIM card re-registration procedure, lamenting what he saw as conservatism among Mauritian judges compared to their counterparts abroad, such as in India.

Source: Defi Media

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