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US State Department’s Human Rights Report Notes Social Media Blockings in Punjab

April 23, 2024 | By

Washington: The US State Department has released its “2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: India“. The report enlists various issues concerning human rights while citing instances of human rights abuses in India.

The 80 pages report on page 33 takes special note of social media blockings by the Indian state in the region of East Punjab.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken | File Photo | Image used for representational purposes only

The report notes: “on March 28, Punjab authorities suspended the social media accounts of several journalists and media organizations in Punjab, including the BBC’s Punjabi service”.

“These suspensions came as part of broader blackouts on internet services and social media activity as authorities conducted a manhunt for Amritpal Singh, leader of Waris Punjab De, a Sikh-political group supportive of the Khalistan movement”, reads the report.

Noting that the “Police restored access to the suspended accounts several days later”, the report notes that the ‘media bodies expressed deep concern over this “arbitrary” suspension of these social media handles, saying no due processes were followed and the suspensions were carried out against the principles of natural justice’.


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