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INTERNATIONAL > US to raise Turkey's Twitter ban at OSCE

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The US' ambassador to the OSCE, Daniel B. Baer, speaks during a meeting.

The US' ambassador to the OSCE, Daniel B. Baer, speaks during a meeting.

The U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has announced that Washington will raise the Turkish government's blocking of Twitter at the OSCE's Permanent Council session on March 27.

The OSCE Permanent Council is the collective name given to the Permanent Representatives - usually Ambassador-level - of the OSCE's 57 participating states and 11 partner states. 

Britain's ambassador to Turkey, Richard Moore, meanwhile, voiced his concerns over the issue during a reception at his residence in Ankara. "The latest developments in Turkey, for instance the blocking of Twitter, are worrying. Hopefully they won't last long. Free speech is a democratic right," Moore said, according to daily Hürriyet.

UN's Twitter call to Turkey

Meanwhile, the United Nations on March 25 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 March 20 by the telecommunications agency may be incompatible with Turkey's international human rights obligations," said Rupert Colville, the spokesman for the U.N. 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.

Turkey's telecommunications authority blocked access to the U.S. social network last week under orders from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan amid a major corruption scandal.

Colville said the U.N.'s rights office had already sounded the alarm in February over Turkish legislation increasing government control over the Internet. Such measures fly in the face of freedom of expression and the right to privacy, he added.

March/25/2014

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