Twitter Warns Pakistani Rights Activists For Criticising Govt 

Both the activists received warnings over emails by Twitter.

2 min read
Image used for representational purposes only.

Twitter recently warned two Pakistani rights activists for objectionable content, criticising the Pakistan government.

This comes a week after the account of a Pakistani cleric was suspended by Twitter, reported Reuters. The cleric had issued threats to government and judiciary over the acquittal of Asiya Bibi who was accused of blasphemy.

Activists Taha Siddiqui and Gul Bukhari received emails from Twitter regarding their accounts.

“Warnings sent out by Twitter are an example of how online spaces are being regulated and are shrinking for internet users voicing their opinions,”
Nighat Dad, Lawyer and Internet Activist told Reuters.

Activist Taha Siddiqui received emails from Twitter complaining that his account was in “voilation of Pakistani law” and that further action could be taken. According to the Reuters, Siddiqui is a correspondent for France 24 television who had fled Pakistan this year.

“Pakistani authorities ... are pressuring Twitter to take ‘legal’ steps against me,”
Taha Siddiqui told Reuters.

He also said that "Twitter should stop becoming a facilitator of repressive regimes."

Gul Bukhari received two warnings from Twitter, one of which was on the tweet where she had criticised lack of action against a prominent cleric by the government. Bukhari was briefly abducted in July from a military cantonment in eastern city of Lahore, Reuters reported.

In a reply to Twitter, Bukhari said the cleric whose account was blocked over threatening Supreme Court judges over acquittal of Asiya Bibi, violated the law because he was inciting violence against state officials.

“In my tweet I am asking government to take action against him. In which world is that illegal?” Bukhari wrote.

Siddiqui believes the complaint to Twitter came from his home country.

Fawwad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s information minister, told Reuters that his office was trying to establish close coordination with Twitter in order to deal with “hate speech and death threats”. He refrained from directly responding to questions on both the activists.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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