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Image:Around the Web: A Ban on Adverts Defending Human Rights? TfL must think again

From The Guardian…

– Transport for London appears to have caved in to pressure from the Pakistan government and banned London taxi advertisements that draw attention to its human rights abuses in the war-torn disputed province of Balochistan. Islamabad denounced the advertising campaign as “malicious”, “anti-Pakistan” and an attack on the country’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity”. It has demanded the British government removes the adverts, which were emblazoned with the words “#FreeBalochistan. Raise your voice. Save the Baloch people.”

Pakistan’s high commissioner in London, Syed Ibne Abbas, requested the Foreign Office ban the adverts. The UK high commissioner to Pakistan, Thomas Drew, was summoned by the government of Pakistan and told that such adverts “should not be allowed”.

Within 24 hours, TfL ordered the adverts to be pulled, ostensibly on the grounds that they were “controversial and sensitive” in violation of clause (h) of its advertising policy. However, the advert organisers, the World Baloch Organisation (WBO), argue that most reasonable people would not regard the wording as controversial or sensitive. They note that clause (h) states that adverts promoting humanitarian-type causes will “not normally be disapproved”, even if they are controversial or sensitive.

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