Fans of Iran’s late Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and leader of the Islamic Revolution, are upset that an Instagram account honoring him was shut down. 

Instagram, the social media photo-sharing site, has blocked a memorial account for the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Iranian Fars News Agency reported on Sunday.

Khomeini was the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and led the Islamic Revolution in 1979. His followers established an Instagram account to release unpublished photos of their deceased leader.

The account, which reportedly had over 100,000 followers, was deactivated just before annual ceremonies in Iran were held commemorating the anniversary of his death on June 4. Instagram apparently has a policy of deleting accounts of deceased persons unless designated as a memorial account

Fars News reports that Instagram announced in an email that it had omitted the account. The Iranian news site claims that Instagram erased some 500,000 photos and posts as well as the 100,000 followers from the account.

The creators of the “Imam Khomeini” Instagram account told Fars News that they wrote several letters to the app owners protesting the move, which they claim was a “clear violation of the freedom of speech,” but in return received what they described as “false excuses.”

Fars News criticized the closing of the account of “a leader who has been admired and loved by tens of millions of people.” At the same time, the article continues, there are “millions of Instagram accounts containing violent and obscene contents,” including pages belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist groups, “which even release images of the beheadings done by them.”

Undaunted by “Instagram’s unfair treatment,” the Khomeini admirers created a new account under the name “emamKhomeiny,” which contains the same type of material as the previous one, including photos of the “great leader.”

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel


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