Human Rights Watch: The Turkish government’s decision to close down YouTube by administrative order is a disastrous move for freedom of expression and the right to access information in Turkey. The government similarly closed down Twitter on March 21. The restrictions violate Turkey’s obligations under international human rights law and domestic law.
The closure of YouTube by a decision of Turkey’s Telecommunications Communication Directorate came shortly after two leaked conversations were posted on the site. The conversations purported to be the foreign minister, his undersecretary, the head of the National Intelligence Agency, and deputy chief of staff of the Turkish Armed Forces discussing Turkey’s Syria policy.
“The decision to close down a whole website because of some content is arbitrary, disproportionate, and a flagrant violation of free speech and the right to access information online,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior researcher for Turkey at Human Rights Watch. “The order blocking YouTube should be reversed immediately, and access to Twitter restored without delay.” [Continue reading…]