Carter Center Condemns Internet Restrictions During Election Day in Zambia

ATLANTA (Aug.13, 2021) — On Aug. 12 at approximately 1:55 p.m., Internet users in Zambia lost access to WhatsApp. Shortly after, they became unable to access Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Messenger as well. All these services remain unavailable without use of a virtual private network.

The Carter Center condemns these internet restrictions, which limited freedom of expression and access to information during election day in Zambia, and notes that Article 20 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia guarantees the freedom to impart and communicate ideas and information without interference.

The Center urges Zambian authorities to restore full internet access so that citizens can fully enjoy their rights and to ensure that transparency is guaranteed in all stages of the counting and tabulation processes.

Background: The Carter Center has a small electoral expert mission in Lusaka analyzing key aspects of the Zambian electoral process, including the legal electoral framework; the effectiveness and transparency of electoral preparations; the campaign environment, including freedom of the media; respect for core participatory rights; the use of social media; and disinformation and misinformation trends. Because of the mission’s limited size and scope, it is not doing a thorough, nationwide assessment of voting, counting, and tabulation processes.


Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison, associate communications director,

In Lusaka, Kakai Kissinger, electoral expert team lead,  

The Carter Center
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A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.