We Support Free Speech for @Laibaah

by admin

Archived from the Petition Online. http://www.petitiononline.com/Laibaah/petition.html
Written on 18 July 2011 by Shumaila Husseyn, M Hassan and Ailia Zahra.

To: Twitter Administration, Twitter Support, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty, Government of Pakistan, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan,

The aim of this petition is to protest against silencing of a Pakistani human rights activist and media critic Laiba Ahmad Marri (@laibaah) on Twitter by the pro-military establishment urban elites of Pakistan who are silent on mass murders of Baloch, Pashtun, Hazara, Tooris and other oppressed groups by the military state and its various jihadi / sectarian proxies.

For a brief introduction of Laibaah, read her profile on Twitter:

“As a human rights activist, I question silence of Pakistan’s urban journalists & bloggers on mass murders of Baloch, Hazara, Tooris & other oppressed groups. http://criticalppp.com/archives/52709

Noam Chomsky once said, if we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

Pakistan is a weak democracy that has spent almost half of its life under dictatorship. The plant of democracy is rooted every time political parties succeed to kick dictators out of the political set up. But this needs to be watered constantly to help it grow.

Freedom of speech is the right granted in democracy but what when this right is abused by those who need it the most – media. Or it needs it only for few individuals that have license to speak?

We all know that Pakistani media is biased when it comes to baloch, shias and ethnic and religious minorities.

Laibah Ahmed Marri, a human rights activist who questioned their silence over the issues of baloch massacre in south-western province Balochistan, shia massacre in Parachinar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, minority rights, confronted twitter account suspension twice with the user name @Laibaah that was planned and celebrated by Pakistan’s pro-establishment Fake Civil Society (FCS).

She contested her account suspension and won. During the days of her account suspension she made another account with the Handel @Laibaah2 to continue questioning those urban writers who write and report issues that can only benefit them or their socio-economic class.

Now, once again her account has been suspended by repeated blocks and reporting of the account. Her second account has also been suspended. This time a US diplomat based in Lahore also ganged up with other urban elite of Pakistan, called Laibah a troll, sociopath and reported her.

We request to the freedom loving people to help recover the account to maintain our right to freedom of speech and support the cause. If we don’t we might face continuous suspensions of accounts by politicians and journalists who claim to represent us in parliament and media and call us a troll when are questioned.

Twitter is a social network and we won’t let it be hijacked by few high-profile people to suppress us.

Today it was Laibah tomorrow it could be very same group of urban elites and socialites who blocked and reported her. We can find each other’s views abhorrent but that does not mean we gang up and report the tweeple in order to remove him or her from the public arena.

Some critics of laibaah say they were “attacked” by her questions on Twitter. As a Pakistani senator, a supporter of @laibaah’s activism wrote to her critics on Twitter: “How can she attack you on not supporting her cause. What kind of attack it was; did she use land mines, grenades or merely a Baluchi ghulail.”

We also request Twitter to make some mechanism to check on the reality before considering the suspension or removal of the account.


Almandar Mengal’s post in support of @laibaah

Baloch rights activist @Laibaah silenced by Urban Elite Tweeples – by Alamdar Ahmad Mengal

List of critical posts written by @laibaah

Social Media Summit in Karachi which never was!

The Kufi Shia sellouts of the military establishment

LUBP must stop defending Zardari League (ZPPP)

A candid conversation with an urban journalist/blogger, Faisal Qureshi


The Undersigned

One Comment to “We Support Free Speech for @Laibaah”

  1. A prominent writer of an international magazine’s Pakistani subsidiary demanded “video testimony” from Laibaah when the she held the ISI and security establishment to account for their collaboration with the SSP-LeJ. It seems that such profuse evidence is only required when the ISI and its proxies are concerned and not when elected leaders are selectively maligned on the basis of parlour gossip.

    Another prominent and widely respected human rights activist called Laibaah a liar and critized her for spreading “slander”. When asked to be specific about which of Laibaah’s tweets were lies or slanders, the activist in question has still not provided a clear answer.

    It is now clear that Laibaah was stepping on too many toes and needed to be “taken out” from twitter.


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