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AFP
September 18, 2020

Canadian Sikhs censored by India

World

AFP
September 18, 2020

OTTAWA: Ottawa Citizen, a leading Canadian newspaper, reports on how the Sikhs living in Canada feel being censored by the Indian government after an Indian law-enforcement agency asked Twitter this week to delete a post by a Canadian Sikh advocacy group.

The paper describes the incident “an unusual move by a foreign power that has sparked allegations of attempted international censorship”. India claimed the Tweet by the World Sikh Organisation (WSO) — discussing what the group calls a ‘genocide’ of Sikhs in 1984 — violated that country’s laws, the social-media company said in an email to the WSO.

Twitter’s legal department said it was notifying the organisation in the interests of transparency, but was not taking any action ‘at this time.’ Meanwhile, it advised the WSO to consider protecting its interests by seeking legal counsel, challenging India’s request in court or even voluntarily deleting the content, if appropriate.

The Ottawa-based Sikh group said the incident was “a perfect example of India criminalising dissent.”In fact, it alleged in a report this summer that New Delhi has launched a crackdown on social media posts perceived as supporting the cause of Khalistan — a separate Sikh homeland. Even the term #Sikh was for a while blocked on Facebook and Instagram because of a cyber attack, the WSO says.