On Saturday, Egypt’s top-administration court ordered a one-month ban on video-sharing website YouTube over an anti-Islamic video, Innocence of Muslims. The thirteen-minute low-budget video was released in 2012 and led to protests and violent clashes over negative depiction of Islamic prophet Mohammad, in several Muslim-majority countries including Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh and Tunisia.
The video was created by Nikoula Bassely Nikoula. In 2013, Egyptian lawyer Mohamad Hamid Salem filed a case to block YouTube and was also requested by Egypt’s lower-administration court. Judge Hassauna Tawfiq had ordered a 30-day ban for YouTube, but the decision was appealed by Egypt’s National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) and the court case was pending since then.
After the ruling by the top-administration court, Hamid Salem said, “The ruling is a punishment for YouTube website that will cost it massive economic losses”. US officials had said the video was privately funded and was not taken down due to freedom of expression and speech. Then US-state secretary Hillary Clinton had denounced the video and called it “disgusting”.
Salem later added, “The NTRA is responsible for implementing the ban and there is no technical difficulty to do so”. He also said that he would lodge a “lawsuit against the NTRA chief if the ban is not implemented.”
The top-administration court’s decision is final and cannot be challenged.