Turkey arrests 25 people of “provocative” posts over quakes

Turkey arrests 25 people of “provocative” posts over quakes
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EGM detained 131 out of 808 account managers who allegedly made “provocative” posts, arresting 25

Turkey's General Directorate of Security (EGM) announced on Monday that 25 people were arrested over their allegedly “provocative” social media posts on earthquakes.

“808 account managers who made 'provocative' posts over the earthquake on social media platforms were identified. Judicial proceedings were initiated against 452 of these accounts, 131 people were detained, and 25 were arrested,” it said in a statement published on Monday.

The directorate added that 76 websites were shut down for running "phishing scams" trying to steal donations for quake victims and 15 social media accounts posing as official institutions were closed.

In October, Turkish parliament adopted a law under which journalists and social media users could be jailed for up to three years for spreading "disinformation", raising concerns among rights groups and European countries about free speech, particularly ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections due this summer.

On Feb.8, two days after the devastating earthquakes, Turkey blocked access to Twitter for about 12 hours, citing the spread of disinformation, prompting an angry response from opposition politicians and people using the platform to find loved ones and share information about rescue efforts.