Facebook account of Khadija Siddiqui, the law student who was stabbed 23 times by her class fellow Shah Hussain and her Lawyer Hassan Niazi, were blocked earlier on July 15 and were restored later when social media reacted to it.

The accounts were blocked for speaking against the brutality of Shah Hussain on the pretext of violating social media site's community standards.

Khadija Siddiqui was stabbed by Shah Hussain, son of a prominent lawyer Tanveer Hussain, in Lahore last year and the case is sub-judice.

Facebook restored the accounts with a message to the users saying, “A member of our team accidently removed something you posted on Facebook. This was a mistake, and we sincerely apologize for this error. We’ve since restored the content, and you should now be able to see it.”

Earlier, Facebook had warned Hassan Niazi and Khadija Siddiqui that they had violated the community guidelines and were not allowed to post anything for some time.

Apart from these two accounts, a few public interest pages like Humans of Kinnaird and Bol Paltoon were blocked from sharing anything in Khadija’s favor particularly. Facebook removed almost every such post from these pages.

Speaking to The Nation, Hassan Niazi said, “My Facebook account and all posts regarding Khadija have been restored. Earlier, Facebook had suspended mine, Khadija’s and another person’s account for supporting her. It needs to realize that we are not violating any rule rather trying to raise our voice to get justice.”

He further said, “Nothing will deter us from standing up against Shah Hussain. Their lawyers have tried to pressurize Khadija by asking questions not only irrelevant but also ethically wrong. Khadija has come back stronger.”

Regarding further posts on social media he said, “Everyone needs to not only speak up against the incident that took place with Khadija but also tell Facebook that they are wrong in suspending accounts.”

Since last evening the social media platform Twitter was buzzing with messages for Facebook to revise their policies and support the victim instead of suppressing voices that are being raised against Shah Hussain.

To understand the working of Facebook, The Nation contacted Nighat Daad, a digital rights activist and CEO of Digital Rights Forum; she said, “Facebook does not do it on its own, rather they are following an algorithm, a set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. The opponents in Khadija’s case are reporting to Facebook against posts supporting her due to which Facebook and in view of these reports the site blocked their accounts.”

When asked about other pages and posts related to terrorism or extremism she said that Facebook is now translating things in Urdu and Pashto. It will take a bit of time but hopefully soon Facebook will be taking things down pages and posts related to extremism.

She further said, “This has not happened for the first time. On various occasions Facebook has reacted in this manner and later they had to revive the account as they could not find anything wrong with the post.”

Khadija Siddiqui told The Nation, “I am a fighter and I will not back out. My and many of my friends’ accounts were blocked for raising voice against Shah Hussain. He has a number of fake accounts and is mass reporting against me. He is even running St. Anthony’s School Facebook page where he continuously posts things in his favor.”

A Facebook page called "Trends Pakistan" took Khadija’s live interview where she said that no matter what Shah Hussain did to me, I have not and will not back out, Allah has been my support all along, Allah is my strength.   

Khadija’s case is being heard in Lahore High Court despite Tanveer Hussain’s petition to put off hearings till September as it did not have much value for the court to be heard on daily basis.