Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced on Friday that it was blocking access to Wikipedia on grounds of refusal to remove sacrilegious content, after restricting the website for 48 hours.
Now, Wikimedia Foundation has released a statement on their official Twitter account, giving their side of the story.
“On 1 February, we received a notification from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority stating “the services of Wikipedia have been degraded for 48 hours” for failure to remove content deemed “unlawful.” As of 3 February, our data shows this has extended into a full block.”
The Foundation emphasized that the right to access to knowledge was for everyone, and in restricting Wikipedia, PTA was denying a country with the 5th largest population in the world that right. They urged the Pakistani government to remove the block and allow Wikipedia to function freely within Pakistan.
“We believe that access to knowledge is a human right. A block of @Wikipedia in Pakistan denies the 5th most populous nation in the world access to the largest free knowledge repository. If it continues, it will also deprive everyone access to Pakistan’s history and culture. We hope that the Pakistan government joins us in a commitment to knowledge as a human right and restores access to @Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects promptly, so that the people of Pakistan can continue to receive and share knowledge with the world.”
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