As Twitter reveals Centre’s requests to block accounts, PM Modi signs G7 pledge on freedom of expression IG News

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a statement at the G7 meeting to protect freedom of expression and opinion, online and offline, to ensure a free and independent media landscape. This comes just a day after a report emerged that social media giant Twitter has blocked access to over 80 links, specific posts and accounts on the instructions of the Indian government.

Twitter’s disclosure to the Internet Transparency Archive, Lumen Database, says that their action was based on 24 legal directives sent by the Indian government in the year 2021. The government was reportedly asked to block multiple accounts and some tweets by advocacy group Freedom House. ,

According to a document filed by the Manch on June 26, the list included journalists, politicians and supporters of farmers’ protests last year.

Freedom House says it works to protect human rights and promote democratic change, with a focus on political rights and civil liberties. “We serve as a catalyst for independence through a combination of analysis, advocacy and action.”

The advocacy group calls India partially free with a score of 66 out of 100, political rights at 33 out of 40 and civil liberties at 33 out of 60. In its report specific to India, Freedom House says that the Indian government-led Janata Party (BJP) has presided over “discriminatory policies and an increase in persecution affecting the Muslim population.”

The Constitution guarantees civil liberties, including freedom of expression and freedom of religion, but under Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) the persecution of journalists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other government critics has increased significantly.

Muslims, Scheduled Castes (Dalits) and Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis) are economically and socially marginalised.

Lumen’s report states that the accounts allegedly blocked by Twitter include the handles of the Pakistan government. Twitter banned accounts, including Kisan Ekta Morcha and Tractor 2 Twitter – two accounts that were active during the farmers’ protests against three agricultural laws that went on for more than a year, and had over 500,000 followers.

On July 27, as part of the G7 meeting, in which Modi is attending Germany, Argentina, Canada, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Senegal, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. The European Union signed the 2022 Resilient Democracies Statement. It said it “reaffirms our commitment to strengthen the resilience of our democracies and work towards equitable, inclusive and sustainable solutions to global challenges, including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, and towards a rules-based international approach.” Reaffirms our commitment. Gana.”

The statement acknowledged the importance of national laws and regulations that exist in each country to further the principles and values ​​of democracy. and praised “all courageous defenders of the democratic order who stand up against oppression and violence, and will advance international cooperation to improve the resilience of democratic societies globally.”

Points that countries pledged to defend include freedom of expression and online and offline protection of opinion. It also said it would work together to increase transparency about the actions of online platforms to combat violent, extremist and online inciting content, in line with the Christchurch call to action.

The Christchurch Call to Action was a summit initiated by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardem after the 15 March 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings. The aim of the summit was to “bring countries and tech companies together in an effort to eliminate the potential to use social media”. To organize and promote terrorism and violent extremism”.

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