India is blocking Twitter accounts of Pakistani missions, other known figures

Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Photo: Radio Pakistan / file
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Radio Pakistan / file

ISLAMABAD: Violating international norms, India has blocked the Twitter accounts of Pakistani embassies in several cities and other journalists who are critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the country, it was revealed on Monday night.

Complaining about the Indian action, Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said on Twitter: “Deeply concerned that India has blocked the flow of information on Indian Twitter by denying access to official accounts.”

Twitter accounts blocked in India are the official leadership of Pakistani missions in Iran, Turkey, Egypt and the United Nations.

“These are along with many others whose access has been blocked,” he added.

Expressing alarm over India’s blocking of Twitter accounts of Pakistani embassies, a spokesman said: “The reduction in space for a multitude of votes and access to information in India is extremely alarming. Social media platforms must adhere to applicable international standards. ”

He called on Twitter to immediately restore access to their accounts and ensure respect for democratic freedoms of speech and expression.

‘Accounts blocked due to legal request’

In addition, the microblogging site also failed News Account of London journalist Murtaza Ali Shah in India under the Information Technology Act, 2000

Indian journalist Aditya Jha reported that the account of a Pakistani journalist was blocked in India due to a “legal request” by the state of India.

He wrote on Twitter: “The account of Pak journalist @MurtazaViews has been kept in India in response to a legal request.”

A Twitter message shared by Murtaza Ali Shah reads: “Hello @MurtazaViews, In order to meet Twitter’s obligations under local Indian law, we have maintained the following account in India under the State Information Technology Act 2000.”

“Because Twitter strongly believes in defending and respecting the voice of people who use our service, our policy is to notify account holders if we receive a legal request from an authorized body (such as the police or government agency) to remove content from their account. the beneficiary in the country from which the request originated “, the text reads.

Pointing to the recent events of the referendum on Khalistan in Italy, the journalist said that these events were legally allowed and that governments and law enforcement agencies in the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Europe, the US and Canada did not see the crime or violation of the law. in the holding “Referendum in Khalistan” legitimate political activity.

Earlier, Shah said, the Indian government reported his Twitter for reporting on freedom protests in Kashmir held in London.

On both occasions, Twitter informed Shah that no Twitter laws had been violated, but that he had been informed of reports submitted to his account by the Indian government.

It is understood that the Indian government has previously forced Twitter to suspend hundreds of accounts of Khalistan leaders and supporters from around the world.

Earlier, Twitter also blocked the accounts of certain journalists – Indian and international – who are critical of the government led by Narendra Modi.

New censorship trend ‘unacceptable’: CPJ Asia

Reacting to the denial of journalist Rane Ayyub’s tweet and the blocking of CJ Werleman columnist’s account in India, the Asia Desk of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CP) said the new trend of censorship on social media was unacceptable.

“This has to stop! The voices of journalists are key to democracy, ”CPJ Asia announced on its Twitter profile.

“Last week @CJWerleman’s account was kept in India at the request of the Indian government due to the spread of‘ anti-Indian propaganda ’,” the CPJ said.

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