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'I will turn my phone off on 28 January'

Campaign to turn off mobile phones on anniversary of 'Friday of Rage' to protest carriers who closed networks during the revolution

Ahram Online, Thursday 12 Jan 2012
January 28
A protester stands in front of a burning barricade during a demonstration in Cairo January 28, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
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“Thank you for depriving martyrs of the right to call their family before they die,” says a message circulating on mobile phones across Egypt.

The message is part of a widespread call to boycott all three major Egyptian mobile networks—Mobinil, Vodafone and Etisalat—to send a message of protest on the anniversary of the day the mobile carriers infamously turned off their networks during the height of the 25 January Revolution.

For five days, beginning 28 January (dubbed the “Friday of Rage”), millions of Egyptians were left unable to contact one another, meaning that many injured protesters, as well as sick individuals, were unable to get help on time and died.

“Turn off your phone for a whole day to show solidarity with every drop of blood spilled without any help because there was no network,” the message continues.

The message has reverberated on Facebook as well, with the launching of a page, "I will turn my phone off on 28 January," urging people to boycott as well.

"Remember that day when your phone was useless and you couldn’t check-in on your family; you couldn’t reach your son or your old sick mother.”

“I will turn off my phone in solidarity with the revolution and to protest the fact that these networks responded to orders by the ousted president Mubarak to cut the networks on this day.”

The Facebook group also urged Egyptian businessmen to remember how much money they lost on the day because of the network crash.

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