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Suspension of IAMC and HFHR’s X accounts part of broader Indian govt crackdown

Censorship alert - IAMC Urgently Demands Restoration of X Account Access in India: Statement by Indian American Muslim Council:
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The Indian American Muslim Council, the U.S. oldest and largest advocacy organization committed to promoting justice, pluralism, and the civil rights of Indian Americans, is gravely concerned by the censorship of its account on X, formerly known as Twitter, in India.
On October 14, IAMC and its close ally Hindus for Human Rights (HFHR) learned that their X account was withheld in India in response to a “legal demand” from the Indian government. Two days after the suspension, X wrote IAMC to inform that the account has been withheld after X received “a legal removal demand from the Government of India... that claims the following content violates India’s Information Technology Act, 2000.” The Indian government’s sweeping and draconian Information Technology Act has already been used to censor many online users.
“IAMC’s X account serves as an important medium for Indian-American Muslims to shine light on Hindu nationalism and worsening human rights conditions of persecuted minority groups in India. Silencing our voice on social media is an affront not just to our organization but to the democracy in the United States and India,” said IAMC executive director Rasheed Ahmed. “X executive Elon Musk is working hand in glove with Modi’s authoritarian regime to block a U.S. based organization. X is accelerating the suppression of free expression and democracy in India and the U.S.”
The suspension of IAMC and HFHR’s accounts continues the Indian government's broader crackdown on critical voices in media and politics, which escalated in recent weeks with the Indian government filing criminal charges against prominent novelist Arundhati Roy and raiding the offices of the Independent news organization NewsClick and arresting its editor-in-chief.
“With the alleged assassination of Canadian resident Hardeep Singh by Indian foreign agents, the censorship of U.S. based social media accounts, India’s repressive tactics now clearly pose an international threat to security and freedom of expression,” said IAMC President Mohammad Jawad.
IAMC calls on X to immediately restore access to its account in India. IAMC furthermore calls on the aid of the international community as it seeks to counter rising threats to its freedom of expression in India. IAMC is in close contact with its attorneys as it seeks legal recourse to challenge the withholding of its account. It joins with close allies as it continues to fight for the civil rights of India’s persecuted minorities and on behalf of freedom of speech everywhere.
Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: www.iamc.com.

Statement by Hindus for Human Rights:

The Modi government is attempting to silence our voice by shutting down our Twitter account in India in collusion with Elon Musk. This is just the latest of the Indian government’s intimidation tactics.
In the early hours of October 14th, we learned that X (formerly Twitter) had “withheld” our Twitter account in India, “in response to a legal demand,” by the Government of India. Our ally, Indian American Muslim Council’s Twitter account has also been “withheld.” X did not give us prior notice, nor does it provide an appeal process for this type of suspension, except in a court of law.
Twitter now indicates that the Government of India objects not to any single post from us, but to all of @Hindus4HR. By this logic, all our recent posts regarding Navratri, the murder of a Palestinian boy in Illinois, our essay competition for high school students, Desh-Videsh conversation on the state of Indian Media, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza would violate India’s Information Technology Act 2000!But here is the real reason for shutting us down: The mighty Modi raj is scared of a movement of progressive Hindus and their supporters speaking up to save Indian democracy. Their action shows that our unwavering insistence on justice has pierced their narrative in the Hindu community. The truth frightens them.
Clearly, the Modi government - assisted by their eager partners in the diaspora – is engaged in a concerted campaign of transnational repression, and their actions against us are part of a broader clampdown of political criticism against Hindu nationalism. Just look at the BJP's pinned tweet full of full of vicious, antisemitic and conspiracy theory lies and mis-representations about HfHR directly as well as many other other progressive voices.
In our case:
First, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) filed a SLAPP lawsuit in May 2021 against our co-founders. They failed to intimidate and silence us and the case was dismissed.
Then came the waves of trolls who attacked us for participating as practicing Hindus in the Dismantling Global Hindutva conference in September 2021. We responded in kind and debunked the narrative that the conference was Hinduphobic.
In June 2023, days after Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the United States, Union Minister Smriti Irani claimed on national TV that there was a conspiracy among Rahul Gandhi, George Soros, and our co-founder Sunita to destroy India. That failed to gain traction and her hubris backfired: our following increased.
And now this! Using their pal Elon Musk, Modi and his government want to shut down the only voice of progressive Hindus speaking out against the danger of Hindu nationalism and the Modi government’s anti-minority actions. Our powerful stance, that Hindutva runs counter to the basic values of Hinduism, has clearly struck fear in the hearts of the rulers.
As expected, the head of the BJP IT Cell, Amit Malaviya is jumping on the bandwagon once again by spreading falsehoods about us.
Despite their many efforts, however, we will not be silenced or stopped. Our truth is inevitable, like the mighty Ganga snaking around boulders and rocks in the Himalayas as it finds its way to the Bay of Bengal. As long as the many Indian human rights defenders, including Umar Khalid, Teesta Setalvad, Harsh Mander, and Arundhati Roy risk their lives and livelihoods for Indian democracy, we will stand with them. As the dangers mount in India, it is our duty to speak even louder in the diaspora. The resistance movement against Hindutva will swell like the Ganga and wash away the hatred. That day will come.

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