UN calls on Turkey to lift ban on Twitter

The United Nations, today called on Turkey to stop blocking Twitter, saying Ankara could be breaching its international rights obligations by banning the social networking site.

“We are concerned that the blocking of access to Twitter on the 20th of March by the telecommunications agency may be incompatible with Turkey’s international human rights obligations,” said Rupert Coville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online. So we would urge the authorities to rescind the blocking of Twitter,” Colville told reporters.

Under orders by Prime Minister Erdogan, Turkey’s telecommunications authority blocked access to the U.S. social network last week.

Colville said that the U.N.’s rights office had already announced its concerns in February over Turkish legislation increasing government control over the Internet.

“Such measures fly in the face of freedom of expression and right to privacy,” Coville said.

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