Internet returns to Yemen after air strike caused a four-day outage | human rights news

The Saudi-led coalition attack on a communications facility in Hodeidah killed three children and was blamed for disrupting the internet across the country.

Internet services have returned to Yemen after a four-day interruption due to the deadly Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that marked a dramatic escalation in the seven-year war.

An attack by the Saudi-led coalition on a communications facility in Hodeidah late Thursday killed three children and was blamed for disrupting the internet across the country.

The air strike coincided with an attack on a prison in rebel-held Saada that left at least 70 dead and more than 100 wounded.

The Saudi-led coalition denied bombing the prison.

The internet outage affected emergency operations after the attacks, as rescuers searched the rubble for survivors and hospitals in Saada were overwhelmed.

On Tuesday, web monitor NetBlocks said internet was being “restored” in the country, and several social media users and reporters in the capital Sanaa and the port city of Hodeidah reported that they were back online shortly after midnight.

“Contact collapsed after a series of deadly air strikes. The incident severely limited independent media monitoring and human rights efforts.”

The attacks followed a deadly drone and missile attack by Iran-backed Yemeni rebels on the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, which drew threats of retaliation as well as international condemnation.

Two additional rebel missiles were intercepted over Abu Dhabi on Monday.

The UAE is part of the coalition fighting alongside the internationally recognized Yemeni government.

Back to the dark ages

During the four-day blackout, Yemenis struggled to meet daily needs.

Many livelihoods that depend on working online or communicating with businesses and customers abroad have been forced to stop.

In Sanaa, Majed Abdullah said he was unable to receive money from his relatives in Saudi Arabia at a money exchange office as a result of the ongoing outage.

“I do not know what to do. We eat and drink from [money sent by] He said.

Thousands of Yemeni expatriates, who depend on video calls to communicate with their families, have been denied precious contact.

Muammar Abdullah, a Yemeni living in Saudi Arabia, said he was unable to follow up on daily online checks on his family in Sanaa – most importantly now with increased coalition airstrikes – as a result of the power outages, and instead had to make costly international calls . .

Meanwhile, Sanaa university student Maha Mohammed said she turned to television after it was cut short from her online conversations with friends and family.

We went back to watching TV to catch up on the news. I relied on websites and social media for the latest developments in the war.”

widespread anger

The internet outage has angered Yemeni observers and social media users, who have complained about not paying enough attention to an entire nation left in the dark.

Shireen Al-Adimi, an assistant professor at Michigan State University, expressed her dismay at the muted reaction the horrific events in Yemen received from news providers.

Yemeni researcher Afrah Nasser called on social media users to tweet about developments in Yemen and raise awareness of the blackout.