Human Rights Group Urges Facebook to Boycott Iranian Regime
Facebook can face legal charges for violating against United States sanctions on Iran, by providing its services to figures within the Iranian leadership, according to Israeli human rights legal advisers from the Shurat Hadin Law Center.
The Israeli organization, which represents victims of terrorism in courtrooms around the world, sent a formal letter to Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in an attempt to dissuade the multibillion dollar company from violating a U.S. law.
It was recently reported that 15 Iranian government ministers launched a new account on the popular social network even though Facebook is supposedly closed to the citizens of Iran. Ministers have made the new accounts by using proxy servers. The fact that Facebook is an American company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, makes it subject to U.S. laws.
The letter said: "Please be advised that providing social media and other associated services to ministers of the government of Iran is illegal under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administered sanctions regime."
The note also made clear that according to U.S. criminal law, directly or indirectly providing support to the Iranian regime, which has supported terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, is thereby being a "sponsor of terrorism."
"This would constitute the type of seemingly innocuous material support that would render your company and you personally criminally and civilly liable. This includes liability for future terrorist attacks carried out by Hizbullah, Hamas or other FTOs."
The letter, sent by the Chairman of Shurat Hadin, Attorney Nitsana Darshan Leitner, clarified that in other cases, the U.S. prosecuted people and organizations that provided services to terrorist organizations.
"In light of the above, we request that you immediately provide us written confirmation that Facebook, Inc. has permanently discontinued the provision of social media and associated services to the Government and State of Iran, including all Ministers of the State of Iran."
Shurat Hadin says they are prepared to seek all available relief and remedies against Facebook Inc. if they do not handle the situation accordingly.