Pakistan

Petition in SC Lahore seeks to lift YouTube ban

LAHORE: A petition was filed in the Supreme Court Lahore registry challenging the ban on popular video-sharing website YouTube in Pakistan.

The plea was filed by Barrister Zafarullah Khan. He contended that ban on YouTube was violation of fundamental human rights.

The petitioner said the ban was adversely affecting the educational as well as business activities of people. He said controversial videos had been removed from the website, hence the court order the authorities to lift ban on the YouTube.

The video-sharing website was blocked in the country on September 17, 2012 over blasphemous material, which sparked furious protests around the world. The ban remains in place till date.

In its verdict at the time of ban, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that the site should be banned until a way was found to block all blasphemous content.

The National Assembly on May 7, 2014 had unanimously adopted a resolution to lift the ban on YouTube.
The resolution was moved by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Shazia Marri. She contended that all Muslim countries have lifted the ban on this website, and there is no need to have it in place in Pakistan.

Free speech campaigners have long complained of creeping censorship and have described the ban on YouTube as a violation of civil rights.

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