Arab Media Freedom Monitor confirms its categorical rejection and condemnation of the Egyptian authorities’ decision to block 21 news websites on the pretext of publishing press articles that encourage terrorism. This is a non-evidence-based accusation and a decision that contravenes article 71 of the Egyptian constitution, which completely prohibits the closure, blocking or confiscating newspapers.
Ikshef notes that this dangerous procedure of blocking sites known for their professionalism confirms the escalating hostility of the Egyptian authorities against press freedom, which began on the first day of the July 3, 2013 coup by closing several channels and newspapers rejecting the military coup.
This action comes simultaneously with similar Saudi and Emirati ones to block several websites. There are some blocked websites included in the resolutions of the three countries, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are the sites of the Qatari channels and newspapers. This indicates that it is related to a political crisis between these countries and the state of Qatar, and has nothing to do with the allegations of fighting terrorism.
The list of blocked sites, as published by Egyptian media, citing security sources, includes major sites operating from inside Egypt, and employs dozens of journalists and photographers, who will lose their only source of income.
In light of this concerted attack by the three countries against press freedom, ikshef calls for urgent action by all organizations and bodies concerned with the freedom of the press and expression in the world to counter this attack, which, if passed, will open the appetite of tyrannical regimes to close and block more media platforms.