High Administrative Court blocks YouTube for one month

Fatma Lotfi
2 Min Read

Egypt’s High Administrative Court ordered on Saturday blocking access to the video-sharing website YouTube for a month over allegedly publishing videos that “insult” Islam’s prophet Muhammad. The ruling cannot be appealed.

The case was filed against Prime Minster Sherif Ismail, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser El-Kady, and the head of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) over the short film Innocence of Muslims.

Innocence of Muslims is a short film written and produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Videos of the film were uploaded to YouTube in 2012 under the titles The Real Life of Muhammad and Muhammad Movie Trailer.

The lawsuit, filed by Mohammed Hamid Salim, dated back to February 2013, when the court ordered the Egyptian government to block access to the website over its continued hosting of the short film, which attracted outrage in the Muslim world, sparking protests that led to dozens being killed and injured.

In May 2013, the High Administrative Court halted the ban and accepted an appeal issued by the NTRA, which said that YouTube is registered in the US, which is the only country that has the power to shut it down. The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) also filed an appeal at that time.

Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, which owns YouTube, declined to remove the short film but said it restricted access to it in some countries, including Egypt, Libya, and Indonesia. 

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A journalist in DNE's politics section with more than six years of experience in print and digital journalism, focusing on local political issues, terrorism and human rights. She also writes features on women issues and culture.
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