UN welcomes Turkey’s lifting of social media bans
GENEVA - Anadolu Agency
A woman uses a laptop computer showing Youtube's logo on March 27, 2014 in Istanbul, near a poster Berkin Elvan. AFP PhotoThe United Nations has welcomed a Turkish court order lifting restrictions on YouTube on April 4.
A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, said: “We welcome it. I think we made it clear we thought banning Twitter in this way was an excessive action and impacted the freedom of expression and opinion. So we certainly welcomed lifting the ban on Twitter and YouTube.”
Colville repeated the U.N. position that blocking access to YouTube and Twitter entirely restricts fundamental human rights.
Turkey began unblocking Twitter on April 3, a full 24 hours after the Constitutional Court ruled the ban was a violation of free speech. The Constitutional Court unanimously ruled April 2 that the ban was a violation of free speech guaranteed by Article 26 of the Constitution, following individual complaints filed separately by Professor Kerem Altıparmak, Professor Yaman Akdeniz and Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy chair of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Just a day after access to Twitter was unblocked, a local court lifted a ban on the popular video-sharing website YouTube on April 4, but ordered that 15 videos would remain blocked.