ISLAMABAD, December 24. /TASS/. The decision of US social media sites Facebook and Instagram to delete the accounts of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov violates their readers’ rights, Russia’s State Duma (lower house) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Sunday.
Volodin held a bilateral meeting with Speaker of Iran’s Parliament Ali Larijani on the sidelines of the first regional international conference devoted to anti-terror fight and cooperation in Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad.
At the meeting, the two parliament speakers discussed double standards in the US policy. Washington, which always talks about the freedom of speech, does not allow people to voice their opinion that is different from the one favored by the US, Volodin noted.
"They are afraid of a public conversation and the truth. Such decision cannot be explained in another way… The thing is that to read bloggers in social networks one needs to be their subscribers. By deleting an account, they deprive citizens of their right to know about bloggers’ opinion and to communicate with them," he said.
"Why should they delete a personal account, that’s totally unclear. It is surprising that Instagram and Facebook view themselves as international companies, and at the same time they close Kadyrov’s accounts," he said. "That’s the policy of shutting mouths," Volodin stressed.
"Such decisions force other countries to take tit-for-tat measures, given the reciprocity principle," he noted.
On Wednesday, the US Department of the Treasury added five Russian nationals, including Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, to the sanctions list under the Magnitsky Act. US officials accused Kadyrov of overseeing "an administration involved in disappearances and extrajudicial killings." Now the "Magnitsky list" includes 49 Russians.
Ramzan Kadyrov’s accounts on Instagram and Facebook were closed for access on Saturday. Kadyrov is a keen Instagram user who is well known for uploading pictures on his account and sharing news about the republic and his family.
He has more than three million followers in Instagram and more than 757,000 on Facebook. The Chechen leader earlier posted on Telegram the republic was working on a new social network.