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Facebook removes Jamaat-e-Islami pages over Kashmir posts

Social networking giant Facebook has taken down Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan’s official page for publishing posts about Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir. “That page was the second highest in terms of number of followers as it had 3.1 likes,” a post on the Jamaat’s Facebook page read. A Jamaat official said that two other pages operated by the party have been removed from the social media website in the past two days. The Islamist party further said that its women wing and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa pages was also found deleted.

“Facebook’s decision to delete our accounts is an attack on freedom of expression,” the party said. “We haven’t done anything which was in violation of Facebook’s policy,” JI Social Media Incharge maintained. This is not the first Facebook has removed or suspended accounts for allegation violation. In the recent past, Facebook suspended the account of top Pakistani actor Hamza Abbasi over his views on slain Kashmiri commander Burhan Wani. The official page of Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan was removed by Facebook, reportedly for covering and highlighting Indian atrocities in held Kashmir, said a party statement issued on Wednesday evening.
The statement claimed that the page had more than three million 'likes' and it was the second most viewed page [with respect to ‘likes’] of any local political party. Social Media head of Jamat-i-Islami Shamsuddin Amjad, while talking to Dawn.com, confirmed the development that “the party’s official page was removed on Wednesday evening”. Amjad further informed that two other pages operated by the party have been removed from the social media website in the past two days. "The party pages representing Jamaat's zonal sections Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Women Wing were removed on Tuesday," he said. The party's social media head further informed that the personal accounts of around two dozen admins of the Jamaat's official page, which was removed, were also suspended.

In the past few months, Facebook has repeatedly come under fire for suspending certain accounts on the social media platform, belonging to both native Kashmiris and foreigners present in and outside of the disputed Himalayan region. The accounts which have been suspended till date had posted comments, pictures or videos to highlight the treatment meted out to Kashmiris in the latest episode of unrest. In July, Facebook removed actor Hamza Ali Abbasi's post in which he had praised a deceased separatist commander killed by Indian forces in Indian-held Kashmir. The social media platform had suspended Abbasi's account following the post, but later restored the account after the post had been removed.

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