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Amnesty to Pakistan: Restore Elon Musk’s social media platform

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Amnesty International

, in collaboration with a coalition of human rights activists and civil society organizations, has urgently called upon the Pakistani government to promptly restore

social media platform

“X,” which has been blocked in the country since February 17, as reported by The Express Tribune.
Formerly known as Twitter, “X” remains inaccessible in Pakistan following the resignation of former Rawalpindi commissioner Liaquat Chattha. Chattha cited alleged “election rigging” in the Rawalpindi division as his reason for stepping down.
Started with elections
The platform ban was implemented after mobile phone services were blocked on election day, February 8, according to The Express Tribune.

In a statement, Amnesty International emphasized that “the arbitrary blocking of platforms, including the prolonged and unannounced disruption of ‘

X

’ since February 17, 2024, serves as a stark example of the escalating digital censorship in the country.”
The human rights organization, as reported by The Express Tribune, highlighted the adverse impact of internet shutdowns and social media bans on political discourse and the free flow of information, especially during critical electoral processes. According to Amnesty International, such actions not only stifle diverse political voices but also contribute to the spread of misinformation.

No reasons for the ban
The statement further criticized the “complete silence” from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), deeming it highly concerning. The PTA failed to provide any reasons for the ban and exceeded its authority by blocking an entire internet platform.
“The lack of transparency in decision-making processes related to network shutdowns and platform blocking, coupled with a complete disregard for accountability, has eroded trust between the state and its citizens,” the statement added.
Amnesty International and its partners urgently call for measures to reverse the trend of digital censorship in Pakistan. Specifically, they demand the unblocking of “X,” the repeal of laws facilitating censorship (such as Section 37 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act), and transparent decision-making regarding internet usage. Additionally, they seek clarification on the legal basis for recent platform blockages and a commitment to uphold Pakistan’s international obligations regarding freedom of expression and access to information

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