Date filed
16 March 2022
Countries of harm
Current status
Under review


On 16 March 2022, Open Society Foundations filed a complaint against A1 Telekom Austria at the Austrian NCP. The complaint alleges that Telekom Austria’s fully owned subsidiaries were involved in politically-motivated mobile internet shutdowns in Belarus, first immediately following the disputed August 2020 Belarusian presidential election and then continuing on a regular basis for several months thereafter. According to the complainants, the internet shutdowns were ordered by the Belarusian government and were in violation of international human rights law, including the rights to free speech, freedom of assembly, and political participation.

The complaint alleges that Telekom Austria contributed to adverse human rights impacts via its Belarusian subsidiary’s substantial contribute to the shutdowns. Telekom Austria failed to conduct adequate due diligence to mitigate or remediate the damage done by the shutdowns, and also failed to communicate clearly with its stakeholders and the public about the government’s orders and its own due diligence. Telekom Austria failed to meaningfully engage relevant stakeholders on the opportunities available to them to more stringently uphold their obligations under the OECD Guidelines, including those relating to the promotion of internet freedom. The complainants seek a facilitated conversation by the Austrian NCP on how these violations can be remedied.

Relevant OECD Guidelines


On 1 August 2023, the Austrian NCP published its initial assessment accepting the complaint for further examination. The NCP will now offer its good offices to the parties. The NCP also noted that the parties had actively and helpfully engaged in the process so far, and hoped that their cooperation would continue in the next steps of the procedure.

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Company in violation
Other companies involved
Affected people