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Turkey’s top court to hear Wikipedia’s appeal against two-year block

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Turkey’s Constitutional Court is to hear an appeal by Wikipedia against the more than two-year block against it by the government on Wednesday.

The appeal is on the online encyclopaedia’s claim that the decision to block entire access to it, is a violation of freedom of expression.

The government blocked access to Wikipedia over national security concerns in April 2017.

Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that hosts Wikipedia, filed its appeal in the Constitutional Court in May 2017.

It took its case against Turkey to the European Court of Human Rights in May, after continued and exhaustive attempts to lift the block through legal action in the Turkish courts and discussions with the government.

According to Wikimedia, Turkey has until October to respond to the European court.

“The case may also help set precedent for future decisions in the area of governments limiting access to information, and comes at a time when we’ve seen a rise in government censorship online globally,“ the foundation said.

Wikipedia says the government’s order only referred to two articles, which had continued to open for improvement by anyone and edited by volunteers around the world in spite the blockage.

The foundation added that it remained unclear what the government’s concerns were. Turkey had in the past, restricted YouTube and Twitter.

In August, the government introduced new restrictive streaming rules that required domestic and foreign companies to obtain a licence from broadcasting regulator RTUK, before they could provide radio, television and on-demand broadcast services online.
YI/AFA

Edited by Yahaya Isah/Felix Ajide

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