Mailing List Archive

[Wikimedia-l] Block of Wikipedia in Pakistan
Hello everyone,

Today, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) ordered that access
to Wikipedia be suspended in Pakistan. We are urging the Pakistan
government to restore access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects immediately

This action denies the fifth most populous nation in the world access to
the world's largest, free online knowledge repository. If it continues, it
will also deny the world the perspective of the people of Pakistan and the
benefit of their knowledge, history, and culture.

The Wikimedia Foundation received a notification from the Pakistan
Telecommunication Authority on February 1, 2023, stating “the services of
Wikipedia have been degraded for 48 hours” for failure to remove content
from the site deemed “unlawful” by the government. The notification further
mentioned that a block of Wikipedia could follow, if the Foundation did not
comply with the takedown orders. As of Friday February 3, our internal
traffic reports indicate that Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects are no
longer accessible to users in Pakistan.

The Wikimedia Foundation is already examining various avenues and
investigating how we can help restore access, while staying true to our
values of verifiability, neutrality, and freedom of information.

We are also prepared to support any members of the Wikimedia communities
who are impacted. If you or someone you know is contacted by the Pakistani
government in reference to the block, please contact us at If you or someone you know is in immediate physical
danger in reference to the block, please contact
right away. We are actively working to reach out to community leaders in
the area.

For over twenty years, our movement has supported knowledge as a
fundamental human right. In defense of this right, we have opposed a
growing number of threats that would interfere with the ability of people
to access and contribute to free knowledge. We know that many of you will
want to take action or speak out against the block. For now, please
continue to do what is needed to remain safe. We will keep you updated on
any new developments, actions we are taking, and ways which you can help
return access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in Pakistan.

Thank you,

Stephen LaPorte (he/him/his)
General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation

*NOTICE: As an attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, for legal and ethical
reasons, I cannot give legal advice to, or serve as a lawyer for, community
members, volunteers, or staff members in their personal capacity. For more
on what this means, please see our legal disclaimer