Egyptian court orders one-month ban on YouTube

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Cairo, May 27 (IANS) Egypt’s top administrative court ordered on Saturday to block YouTube streaming website for one month over hosting a video that denigrates Prophet Muhammad of Islam, the Egyptian lawyer who filed the lawsuit said.

“The ruling is final, unappealable and enforceable,” Xinhua quoted lawyer Mohamed Hamed Salem as saying.

A lower administrative court has previously ordered the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) to do so, but the latter appealed against the ruling, citing it was hard to implement.

The top administrative court rejected the NTRA appeal on Saturday and upheld the temporary ban as a final, unappealable ruling.

The lawsuit dates back to 2013 when the Egyptian lawyer demanded to ban YouTube in Egypt until the offensive clip on Prophet Muhammad and other anti-Islamic videos are removed.

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“The ruling is a punishment for YouTube website that will cost it massive economic losses,” Salem said.

Privately funded and produced in California, the controversial video first appeared on YouTube in 2012, raising a wave of anti-American outrage in the Muslim world where Prophet Muhammad is highly revered.

The lawyer said that “the offensive video” led some fanatic Islamists to assault the U.S. and British embassies in Cairo at the time.

It is unclear how the temporary ban will be implemented, as YouTube was still working in Egypt until Saturday evening.

“The NTRA is responsible for implementing the ban and there is no technical difficulty to do so,” the lawyer said, warning “I will file a lawsuit against the NTRA chief if the ban is not implemented.”

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–IANS

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