India using repressive law to stop access to social media in IOK: AI

Bangaluru, February 19, 2020 (PPI-OT):Amnesty International has said that police is using repressive counter terrorism law to prevent access to social media in occupied Kashmir. Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of Amnesty International India, in a statement in Bangaluru, said while the government has a duty and responsibility to maintain law and order in the territory, filing cases under the repressive counter-terrorism law over vague and generic allegations and blocking social media sites is not the solution.


He was responding to the news that the police in occupied Kashmir have invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against people allegedly misusing social media sites through proxy servers in the territory.


He maintained that nearly 12 million residents in occupied Kashmir have been living through communication restrictions since 5th of August, 2019, and now the police is using the UAPA, a repressive counter terrorism law, against the people for overcoming the longest-ever internet ban imposed in the world by using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter through Virtual Private Networks (VPN).


He said the people arrested under this law can be kept for up to seven years in jail. He said the Indian government says such sites are blocked to curb the misuse of the sites by miscreants for propagating false information/ rumours but the government has almost total control over what information is coming out of the region. Avinash Kumar added that the Indian government needs to put humanity first and let the people of Kashmir speak.


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