An US based Non-Profit organisation Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has filed a lawsuit against social networking site Facebook for blocking their page last month “on its own or on the behest of the Government of India”.
This Sikhs for Justice page on Facebook is used to run a campaign for a referendum for the creation of an independent Sikh country in Punjab. Facebook has been sued in California by this Sikh Right Group and this suit was filed on Tuesday for blocking their page in India, reflecting the challenges U.S. social networking companies face in their expansion into countries with different laws on free speech and expression.
SFJ’s last month said that its Facebook page, which had more than 85,000 followers, was blocked in first week of May in India even as this page was accessible in other countries.
The group has charged Facebook with engaging in “a pattern of civil rights violation and blatant discriminatory conduct” by blocking its content in the whole of India.
It has asked the court for a permanent injunction on further blocking of the page, access to Facebook’s correspondence with the Indian government about the block, and an award of damages, besides other relief.
Facebook has 21 days to file its response to SFJ’s lawsuit.