(Bloomberg) -- Guinea labor unions started an indefinite strike Monday to demand an end to internet and radio restrictions.

Internet access to social media platforms in the West African nation has been hindered intermittently in the past nine months. Transmission by three radio stations was also blocked by the authorities in the last three months.

The country, which is among the world’s biggest producers of bauxite, a raw material used to produce aluminum, has been under military rule since September 2021. Media restriction is one of the ways the junta led by President Mamady Doumbouya has used to gag criticism.

The labor action is also aimed at putting pressure on the authorities to release a press union leader, who was sentenced last week to six months in jail for calling for a protest against censorship, according to Secretary-General of the Union Syndicale des Travailleurs de Guinée, Abdoulaye Sow.

“Dialog with the authorities can only begin after the release of our colleague,” Sow said by phone. “Everything is paralyzed.”

Staff of banks, educational institutions and telecommunications are among the key sectors taking part in the strike action.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.