CAIRO: Internet users in Saudi Arabia were surprised when access to a website promoting Mohamed ElBaradei’s National Coalition for Change was denied.
Internet users were shown a message saying, “The site you requested is unavailable” only 15 hours after the website was launched by a number of Egyptian activists in the United States.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) in Egypt condemned what it described as “an increase in the trend of blocking websites by Arab governments, which is considered an unacceptable oppression of the opposition’s opinions against these governments in a clear violation of their legitimate rights, including freedom of expression and exchange of information.”
A statement by the Network (ANHRI), obtained by Daily News Egypt on Tuesday, read, “Arab governments block websites as a courtesy to other Arab governments.”
The statement added: “For the Saudi government to block a website that doesn’t contain any material related to Saudi Arabia and doesn’t include any violent material or pornography, proves this autocratic government’s animosity against freedom of expression. It is considered a dangerous indicator of this government’s disregard to the basic freedom of using the internet.
“We can add this to the long list of rights violated by this government … without any deterrent or monitoring.”