Double Standards of United States over internet blackout in Iran and Indian Occupied Kashmir

By Nasreen Jehan (real name withheld on the request of writer)

NEW DELHI, India: On November 22, 2019, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13846, for his role in the Iranian regime’s wide-scale internet censorship.

The action of sanctioning Javad Azari Jahromi was taken due to “Iranian regime’s wide-scale internet censorship”. This indicates that internet suspension was wide-scale but not total and this was during and after protests inside Iran— almost for 10 to 15 days.

In Indian Kashmir (Read as Indian Occupied Kashmir), there is Total Blackout of internet since August 5, 2019 and communication means are still partially working although over 112 days have passed.

The US authorities say that Internet access in Iran, managed by Azari Jahromi’s ministry, was blocked for several days in November based upon what Iranian authorities describe as national security concerns in the wake of anti-regime protests throughout the country.

Same situation is in Kashmir where Indian government caged Kashmiris and put total blackout of internet on them under the pretext of national security as allegedly claimed by Iranian government.

US States said that “Iran’s leaders know that a free and open internet exposes their illegitimacy, so they seek to censor internet access to quell anti-regime protests,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Why such statement has yet not come out from United States for Kashmir situation against Indian Government although state of affairs is so grave in Kashmir that international Human watchdogs are calling the condition as Genocide like situation has already gripped Kashmir?

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US States says that:

“We are sanctioning Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology for restricting internet access, including to popular messaging applications that help tens of millions of Iranians stay connected to each other and the outside world.”

So why not same rules are applied against Indian Government?

US States adds that despite proclamations that he (Iranian Minister) supports expanded internet access in Iran, Azari Jahromi has repeatedly justified the increasingly restrictive measures of his ministry as necessary to maintain national security, and further claimed that they are based on foreign threats to overthrow the regime.  Azari Jahromi has also attributed internet disruptions in Iran to technical issues outside of the country, despite findings by outside experts that the disruptions originated from sources operating under the regulation of his ministry.

Same mantra has been given by Indian government for clamping down closure of internet in Kashmir.

Are we (Kashmiris) children of a Lesser god?