Indian authorities have blocked the Twitter account of a dissenting Kashmiri citizen for tweeting against the Indian atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
In a tweet on Thursday, Ahmed Bin Qasim, the son of Dukhtaran-e-Millat Chairman Asiya Andrabi, stated that his account had been blocked in India. He also posted a picture of the message stating, “Your account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand.”
“My parents are languishing in prison. Father caged for 25 years now. Now they are silencing my voice. @TwitterIndia has withheld my account in India. Why is Twitter collaborating with India’s crackdown on dissent in #Kashmir? @davidakaye @twittersupport @misskaul @MirwaizKashmir,” Qasim tweeted.
My parents are languishing in prison. Father caged for 25 years now. Now they are silencing my voice. @TwitterIndia has withheld my account in India. Why is Twitter collaborating with India’s crackdown on dissent in #Kashmir? @davidakaye @twittersupport @misskaul @MirwaizKashmir pic.twitter.com/jHdQwfSnM7
— Ahmed Bin Qasim (@AahmedBinQasim) January 10, 2019
On December 21, 2018, a United Nations (UN) official wrote to Twitter Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jack Dorsey, asking him why the platform had begun acceding to India’s requests to act against users posting Kashmir-related content since July 2017.
David Kaye, the special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, cited Twitter’s reports to say that the website had not withheld any accounts or tweets despite requests from the Indian government between July 2016 and June 2017, but had started doing so after that. “It seems that Twitter may have begun to accede to government demands for content and account removals since July 2017,” Kaye told Dorsey in his letter dated December 10.
“The reasons for this shift are unclear,” Kaye said, as he reminded Dorsey of Twitter’s commitment to respect the human rights of its users. He said that the legal demands to remove content should be “interpreted and implemented as narrowly as possible, to ensure the least possible restriction of expression”. Kaye shared the letter on Twitter on Friday.
The Indian government made 96 removal requests between July 2016 and December 2016, and 104 in the six months after that, Kaye said. Twitter did not act on any of them, but between July 2017 and December 2017, it withheld 17 accounts and 32 tweets after India made 144 such requests.