Pakistan Govt Demanded Twitter Take Down Images of Tribute to Beheaded Teacher

Pakistan
PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan demanded Twitter take down images of Mohammed projected onto French government buildings in tribute to beheaded schoolteacher Samuel Paty, claims journalist Andy Ngo.

Ngo had shared a video of the tribute, which was projected in Montpellier and Toulouse, featuring covers from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, some of which included caricatures of the Islamic prophet.

Paty was publicly beheaded by a Chechen refugee following a class on freedom of expression in which he showed images from the magazine, which was itself targeted by radical Islamic terrorists in 2015.

“A representative of the Pakistani government made a request to Twitter to remove a video I retweeted recently of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons being projected in a French city,” Ngo reported on social media.

“Blasphemy against Islam is illegal in Pakistan, punishable by death,” he added.

Ngo also shared a screenshot of what he said was a screenshot from Twitter Legal, appearing to confirm that “In the interest of transparency, we are writing to inform you that Twitter has received a request from Pakistan regarding your Twitter account… that claims to the following content violates the law(s) of Pakistan.”

This was followed by a link to the offending tweet, featuring an image of one of the projected Charlie Hebdo images and the message: “Police stand guard as Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Muhammed were projected onto a town hall in Montpellier, France as a tribute to a history teacher who was beheaded by a Muslim refugee. In 2015, 12 people at Charlie Hebdo magazine were killed by jihadists.”

Twitter added that they had not taken down the tweet “at this time”, claiming that they “strongly [believe] in defending and respecting the voice of our users”, and that “it is our policy to notify our users if we receive a legal request from an authorized entity… to remove content from their account.”

Pakistan regularly attempts to enforce its laws on the Twitter platform. Breitbart reported on a similar case involving Michelle Malkin, who was warned by the Twitter platform that they had been contacted by the Pakistan government over her allegedly breaking Sharia Law with her posts. Malkin revealed the posts in question were cartoons of Mohammed posted in 2015.

The tech giant is currently embroiled in a partisan censorship storm of its own, however, centring in particular on its decision to block the New York Post from using its platform until it removes content which casts the Biden family in a negative light.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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