The Daily Telegraph

Khan claims speech censored after Youtube blackout

- By Our Foreign Staff

IMRAN KHAN accused the Pakistani government of “unacceptab­le” censorship yesterday after authoritie­s apparently blocked national access to Youtube to prevent a rally speech from being broadcast live.

Khan, the former prime minister and leading cricketer, retains widespread support despite his April ousting and has staged mass rallies across the country calling for early elections.

His speeches frequently draw top ratings, but on Tuesday night, Youtube was down across much of the country as he addressed a rally in Peshawar.

“Access was restored after the speech concluded,” London-based internet outage monitor Netblocks told AFP.

Youtube has not commented on the matter, while a representa­tive of the Pakistan Telecoms Authority said they had “no idea” about it.

“They are imposing complete blackout of my speeches not only from mainstream media but also by blocking Youtube,” Khan tweeted yesterday.

“This fascist govt of cabal of crooks and their backers are willing to harm the interests of Pakistan simply out of fear of (his party) PTI’S soaring popularity. Utterly callous and unacceptab­le.”

The high court this week ruled that a government ban on televising Khan’s speeches was illegal, but no TV channels broadcast Tuesday’s speech.

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