A Sikh activism page has been deleted from Instagram and the activist behind it believes this is just another way for the government to silence their voices.
This morning, activist Deepa Singh, who manages Sikh Youth UK, logged onto Instagram only to be surprised by a notification.
It simply said the page he managed – with 50k followers – had been deleted from the platform. Instagram did not provide any warning or any explanation of why the account was removed.
Deepa, who is encouraging people to follow the backup account Sikhactivists, spoke to Unsaid Digital and gave his view on the matter.
He said: “We at Sikh Youth UK have the largest Sikh activism account highlighting human rights abuses in the country, and we have been shut down and removed from Instagram without warning, just as the UK government is being taken to court for authorising the unlawful extradition of 3 Sikhs to india.
“This is serious as it means any challenges against unlawful use of powers by the government will just be silenced.
“It also affects all Sikhs who want a voice, and all activists who want to take a stand for what’s right but as it’s clear in the agenda that India and UK continue to collude in targeting Sikh activists.”
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has been criticised for censoring vital activism work by deleting it.
In fact, many have accused the social media networks of limiting the reach of and, in some cases, removing their posts and stories, and shadow-banning events.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously championed the platform’s commitment to free speech as a reason not to act on incendiary posts from former US President Donald Trump.
This is a standard that activists and journalists in the UK wish extended to their accounts.
The Sikh Youth UK team have been raising awareness on important matters affecting the Sikh community for years, such as bringing light to the atrocities committed by the Indian government, or saving countless Sikh women from grooming gangs.
Their work is vital and has been praised by the Sikh community. In fact, many Sikhs today took to Instagram to express their outrage as they want to see the former account restored.