Pakistan Closes Thousands of Facebook and Twitter Accounts Simultaneously with Saudi Crown Prince Visit

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Skyline International has received today 15 February, 2019 a document of the Pakistani  Interior Ministry on police plans to close more than 19,000 Facebook pages and 20,000 twitter accounts.  

The foundation-based in Stockholm has said that the Pakistani Interior Ministry plans were not to disturb the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday, February 16, which is expected to be accompanied by demonstrations opposed to the visit.

According to the document issued on Thursday 19, February, the police have identified a number of groups and organization intend to demonstrate against the visit  of the Saudi Crown Prince. So, the police would target and track them via social media through the cyber-crimes unit of the police.

Skyline has pointed out that the Interior Ministry and the Pakistani police plans to close tens of thousands of Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are considered a widespread violation against the freedom of expression and would set a serious precedent in government censorship of social media accounts.

The foundation has urged Facebook and Twitter not to respond to the Pakistani authorities plans. It has said that it would communicate with the mentioned companies to inform them about the details of the received documents.  

The foundation has also urged social media users not to interact with alternatives offered by different platforms in case the authorities decide to fully block Facebook and Twitter.

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