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Egyptian Court Bans YouTube For 30 Days

Egyptian Court Bans YouTube For 30 Days

A judge in Egypt has temporarily banned YouTube, due to the website hosting the anti-Islam documentary, Innocence of Muslims, that set off violent riots in North Africa and the Middle East last September. YouTube is to be blocked for 30 days, though, as of Sunday afternoon, a Google spokesperson said the company had yet to be served with an order, says the Guardian.

Activists have decried the ban as yet another attack on free speech in post-Mubarak Egypt. The Guardian cites a January report that found that, during the seven months of the presidency of Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist, more journalists had been sued for insulting the president than during the entire 30 years when Mubarak was in power. No wonder that Amr Gharbeia, civil liberties director at the Egyptian Institute for Personal Rights, says that Egyptians could well “lose respect for the rule of law.”

The Guardian notes that, in 2007, an administrative court overruled a judge’s attempt to block 49 human rights websites. Noting that his website was one of the 49 threatened, Gharbeia said that Egyptians would be able to work around the just-called for ban as “the courts are not aware of how the Internet works.” He did, though, add that it is possible that the judge’s aim with the ban is a genuine desire to “protect the people of Egypt from something [he considers] evil.”

Investors note that the ban could hurt Egypt’s start-up community.

It is notable that the YouTube ban has been decreed just around the time of the second anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution — it was two years ago on February 11 that Mubarak was ousted.

On Monday, clashes between protesters contending that Morsi has betrayed the goals of the revolution clashed with riot police in Cairo outside the presidential palace. Protests questioning Morsi as president began on January 24, the eve of the revolution’s anniversary and have, more often than not, become violent, with dozens reported dead and hundreds hurt.

Protesters indeed yelled “the people want to bring down the regime,” echoing one of the emblematic cries of the revolution that, two years ago, many of us followed on social media sites including, of course, YouTube.

Related Care2 Coverage:

Internet? Not For Us, Say Some Women in India and Egypt

Is Morsi Betraying Egypt’s Revolution?

Could Egypt’s Pyramids Be Destroyed?

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Photo taken January 25 by Gigi Ibrahim/Flickr

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38 comments

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2:58PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

allan y,
they kind of have outlawed it altogether. journalists are getting the crap beat out of them to shut them up. either you are pro-morsi or you are keeping your opinions to yourself because any other options can get you hurt or dead.

11:46AM PST on Feb 19, 2013

OOh la la...the world is crumbling???

7:43PM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Anyone want to bet on whether or not it'll ever return? Islam hates freedoms of speech, thought and artistic expression....not to mention all those unveiled women!

10:41AM PST on Feb 18, 2013

Thank you.

8:39AM PST on Feb 17, 2013

??!

8:00AM PST on Feb 17, 2013

ay caramba

4:24PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Censorship doesn't work.

1:23PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

It's amazing that Egypt has not outlawed free speech all together.

8:44AM PST on Feb 15, 2013

censorship, intolerance, lack of choice maybe to lead to war thx:))))

7:27AM PST on Feb 15, 2013

throwbacks to the cretinaceous period are alive and kicking

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