Saoradh launches legal action against Facebook over removed pages

February 4, 2019

The Republican group Saoradh has initiated legal action against Facebook over claims it removed pages from its platform, accusing the social media giant of political discrimination.

The group has also claimed that MI5 and the PSNI exerted pressure on the company to remove the pages, some of which were posted by the Newry branch, and is seeking a court order to force the website to reinstate a number of pages.  

Solicitor Darragh Mackin, from Belfast-based law firm Phoenix Law, is representing the group and claims the decision to remove the pages, including the group’s main party page, was taken “due to our client’s particular political view”.

Insisting the move contravenes the right to the freedom of expression, as set out in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Mr Mackin says it “sets a very dangerous precedent”.

“Therefore, our clients have no alternative but to seek injunctive relief to compel Facebook to uphold what is a very basic principle – the right to a political opinion and the right to expression.  Our clients have grave concerns that there are third parties at play,” he said.

Facebook said it could not comment “as this is a legal matter”, but it confirmed it had received a letter of complaint from lawyers acting for Saoradh.