Pakistan

Two United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs are urging the Indian government to lift a ban on social media sites and mobile internet service in the Indian-held portion of Kashmir.

In a statement issued in Geneva, the U.N. special reporter on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, and the special reporter on human rights, Michel Forst, said that the ban had a disproportionate impact on the fundamental rights of everyone in Occupied Kashmir and had the character of collective punishment.

They said such restrictions fail to meet the standards required under international human rights law to limit freedom of expression.

Last month, Indian authorities banned 22 social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and mobile internet services such as Whatsapp for one month in the region in an effort to calm tensions after videos depicting the alleged abuse of Kashmiris by Indian forces fueled protests.

The Indian government says it is necessary for public safety because anti-India activists were misusing social media.