PTA blocks website over blasphemy charges

Says ‘trueislam.com’ was given opportunity to explain its position before the authority, which it did not avail


News Desk January 22, 2021

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday blocked a US-based website “trueislam.com”, being run by members of Ahmadiyya community, for viewership in the country over charges of propagating blasphemous content.

"PTA approached the administrator of website www.trueislam.com for removal of unlawful online content from the website, being in violation of section 295-A, 298-B and 298-C of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and per se abuse of Article 260 (3) and Article 31 of the Constitution of Pakistan," the statement added.

The above mentioned PPC sections and articles are related to blasphemy.

Read more: PTA not empowered to block any website: IHC

It said that in accordance with the provisions of Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguard), Rules, 2020 (“Rules”), the administrator of the website was directed to remove the unlawful content.

 

"The platform was also given an opportunity of hearing (virtual/physical) to explain its position before the authority, which it did not avail," the authority said.

The authority said that given the sensitivity of the matter, PTA, in exercise of powers conferred under Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and the Rules, blocked the website www.trueislam.com for viewership in Pakistan.

The statement further said that with reference to certain news appearing in international media regarding blocking, it is clarified that action taken by PTA is in accordance with the legal provisions of country laws, applicable in the territory of Pakistan.


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