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End social media censorship: US organisations to Pakistan

A coalition of US-based organisations has denounced Pakistan's decision to impose censorship on social media, urging that Islamabad must lift the censorship as soon as possible.

The coalition said that Twitter's decision to block several accounts in Pakistan following order from the government is "blasphemous" and "unethical" content as "violation of basic human rights",

The coalition includes over a dozen organisations. It has written a letter to the Pakistan Ambassador to the UN, Masood Khan, saying that they are deeply disturbed to learn that government officials in Pakistan have, based on the country's blasphemy laws.

The coalition members include Center for Inquiry (CFI), the Ex-Muslims of North America, and a wide array of free thought groups. In the letter, the coalition has reminded Pakistan government about its obligations under Articles 18 and 19 of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provide for freedom of thought, expression, belief and inquiry.

The letter also reminds Islamabad about the commitments it had made commitment under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (signed by Pakistan in 2008), which provides for freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as freedom from coercion by the state.

"Censoring of content on Twitter simply because it may offend religious sensibilities, and persecuting those who publish this content, are clear violations of these principles to which Pakistan has agreed," the letter said.