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FACEBOOK has been accused of censorship for deleting posts on social media platform Instagram that show support for assassinated Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.
Users of the Facebook-owned platform reported the removal of posts sympathetic to Gen Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone attack at Baghdad airport in January.
At least 15 Iranian journalists have had their accounts suspended, according to the International Federation of Journalists.
Tasnim News Agency, the Iran Newspaper and Jamaran News all had their accounts shut down.
“This poses an immediate threat to freedom of information in Iran,” the federation said in a statement.
Iranian footballer Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who has a verified Instagram account, said that he had posted a photo of Gen Soleimani after his death which was taken down.
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei blasted Facebook’s actions as “undemocratic.”
CNN reported on Saturday that the Iranian government has created a site for Instagram users to submit examples of posts that have been removed and suggested that legal action was being considered.
Gen Soleimani’s personal account was shut last April after the US administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist organisation.
“We operate under US sanctions laws, including those related to the US government’s designation of the IRGC and its leadership,” a Facebook statement said.
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