September 20, 2021

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Telenor fears for employee safety in Myanmar

Telenor fears for employee safety in Myanmar

“Developments in the country since the military took over have made it clear to us that if we remain in Myanmar, Telenor Myanmar should activate monitoring equipment – so-called ‘intercept’ equipment – for use by the Myanmar authorities,” Telenor explains in his book. a press release Wednesday.

« Telenor Myanmar Ltd. You have actively worked to prevent the device from being activated, and you have not activated it yet and it will not activate voluntarily. For the safety of our employees, we do not have the opportunity to comment further on the orders that Telenor Myanmar may have to implement monitoring equipment after this update,” Telenor further wrote in the press release.

sales criticism

In July, it was announced that Telenor would sell Telenor Myanmar for $105 million, about 900 million kroner, to Lebanon’s M1 group. It happens after the Military Council took power in the country through a coup d’état in February of this year.

CEO Sigve Brekke at Telenor.

CEO Sigve Brekke at Telenor. (Photo: Alexander Nordahl)

The purchase has yet to be approved by Myanmar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications, which is controlled by the military junta.

A number of human rights organizations have criticized the sale, which they believe is just a way for Telenor to get rid of a problem, while the people of Myanmar are being dumped to the wolves.

The Swedish Burma Commission wrote, among others An open letter to TelenorChairman John Worsted and CEO Sejvi Brecki last month, where they asked Telenor to wait with a sale.

The letter was signed by nearly fifty international human rights and freedom of expression organizations. It also claims that the Lebanese buyer, M1 Group, is an investor who does not practice transparency and is not committed to respecting human rights. It is also indicated that the company has ties with the Myanmar Military Council.

I will not comment on this matter

Danish media Danwatch He wrote in July that Telenor was forced to hand over information, such as addresses and call history, to the military system. At the same time, they wrote, Telenor has not succumbed to pressure to give authorities direct access to monitoring users.

Telenor will no longer speak out out of fear for employee safety, according to Danwatch.

We don’t have the opportunity to comment on the guidance to the authorities,” Telenor’s Director of Information Tormod Sandstow told NTB in July.

Telenor now asserts that the junta is demanding the ability to monitor mobile traffic, and that this is one reason they want to sell outside of Myanmar.

Penalties

The monitoring equipment in question in Myanmar is subject to Norwegian and international sanctions that make the operation of such equipment unacceptable to Telenor Group, Telenor writes.

They add that there is also no legal framework that secures the company’s clients, protects basic human rights and complies with international law in Myanmar today.

“Activating this equipment would therefore violate our core values ​​and standards as a company,” Telenor wrote.

The company further wrote that for the safety of its employees, they do not have the opportunity to say anything more about the orders that Telenor Myanmar should receive to implement the monitoring equipment.

It prevents activation

The Norwegian company asserts that they have actively worked to prevent the device from being activated, and that they have not done so yet, nor do they want to voluntarily activate it.

“Telenor is deeply concerned about the deteriorating security and human rights situation that has arisen as a result of the military takeover of Myanmar and how this is affecting the people of the country,” the company wrote.

The Telenors realize that they have done everything they can to stay in Myanmar, but they can no longer maintain a presence in the country.

“We view selling as the least harmful solution,” Telenor wrote.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link that leads directly to our pages. All or part of the Content may not be copied or otherwise used with written permission or as permitted by law. For additional terms look here.