UN to raise issue of social media ban with GoI

Srinagar

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Free speech David Kaye has said that United Nations will soon raise the issue of social media ban in Kashmir with government of India.

He said it in an interview with Aljazeera.com. “We haven’t raised our concerns with them (Government of India) yet, but I expect we will pretty soon.”

He added that they are trying to gather information on the nature of restrictions.

On April 25 Government of Jammu and Kashmir issued an order calling for ban on popular social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp in Kashmir valley on the grounds that it was “being misused by anti-national and antisocial elements” for the period opf one month. The ban prompted a response from Kaye who tweeted asking people in Kashmir to send their comments about their experience of Social Media ban.

Kaye said, “It’s not enough for a state to have a law that allows the blocking of a website.He however said, “We can’t change states’ behaviour but can encourage them to behave and adopt laws and policies that are consistent with human rights obligations. We try to make it a dialogue with states, and it’s not always successful but that’s what we hope to do.”

He said internet ban in Kashmir “might be the kind of situation where we would want to raise it publicly, as well. We haven’t done that yet but we will soon.”

According to some independent media organisations government in Kashmir has banned internet nearly 28 times since 2010. During  the year 2016 mobile internet services remained suspended for over five months as streets in Kashmir were witnessing bloody unrest.

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