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Published: Monday, 5/21/2012

Pakistan bars Twitter access for most of day, restores it


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan’s government blocked access to the social networking service Twitter for most of Sunday. It held Twitter responsible for promoting what it called a blasphemous cartoon contest taking place on Facebook, officials said.

The restoration of Twitter service about 10 p.m. was as sudden as its suspension. No official statement or explanation was given.

Some rights campaigners saw the service suspension as a warning shot at the media and at public expression.

A government spokesman was quoted by media as saying that the government had been in talks with Twitter to remove “objectionable” material but that there had been no results. “The material was promoting a competition on Facebook to post images of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed,” said Mohammad Yaseen, chairman of Pakistan’s telecommunications authority.

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