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.
“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.” (IANS)
Egypt’s president Wednesday called for “decisive” and “collective” action against countries supporting “terrorism” in an apparent reference to Turkey and Qatar, who back the Muslim Brotherhood group, which is outlawed in Egypt.
The three countries also support opposing factions in the war-torn Libya.
Addressing a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi also said achieving sustainable development in Africa is needed, along with efforts to fight militant groups in Egypt and the Sahel region that stretches across Africa south of the Sahara Desert.
“There should be a decisive response to countries supporting terrorism and a collective response against terrorism, because the terrorist groups will only have the ability to fight if they are provided with financial, military and moral support,” he said.
The gathering in Aswan is attended by the leaders of Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Senegal along with officials from the U.S., Britain and Canada.
The Sahel region is home to al-Qaida and Islamic State group-linked militants. El-Sissi said Egypt could help train forces and provide weapons to countries in the region to fight extremists.
Egypt has for years been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency that intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi in 2013 amid mass protests against his brief rule.
Militant-related violence in Egypt has been centered on the Sinai Peninsula, as well as in the country’s vast Western Desert, which has witnessed deadly attacks blamed on militants infiltrating from neighboring Libya.
Since Morsi’s ouster, tensions have grown between Egypt and Turkey and Egypt and Qatar. The political party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo designated as at terrorist group in 2013.
El-Sissi also said a “comprehensive, political solution would be achieved in the coming months” for the conflict in Libya, which descended into chaos after the 2011 civil war that ousted and killed long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He did not elaborate.
He said that would put an end to a “terrorist hotbed that pushes militants and weapons to (Libya’s) neighboring countries including Egypt.”
El-Sissi apparently was referring to an international summit in Berlin that aims to reach an agreement on actions needed to end the conflict. The conference had been scheduled for October, but it has apparently been postponed.
After the 2011 civil war, Libya split in two, with a weak U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli overseeing the country’s west and a rival government in the east aligned with the Libyan National Army led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter.
Maritime border agreement
El-Sissi’s comments came amid heightened tensions with Turkey after a controversial maritime border agreement it signed last month with Libya’s Tripoli-based government.
Greece, Egypt and Cyprus, which lie between the two geographically, have denounced the deal as being contrary to international law, and Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador last week over the issue.
Hifter has for months been fighting an array of militias allied with the Tripoli authorities to wrestle control of the capital. He is backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia, while the Tripoli-based government receives aid from Turkey, Qatar and Italy. (VOA)