Today AFTE submitted judicial appeal no 10464 for the year 59 of the court order issued on the 9th of February 2013 by the administrative court in claim no. 60693/66 J which stated the block of the execution of the negative decree banning the administrative body concerned from undertaking the necessary measures to block youtube for a month, as well as banning and blocking all websites and links that have shown sections, under various pretexts, of the video defaming the prophet.
The events of the case date back to September 2012 when a lawyer filed a case demanding the ban of youtube on ground of its use by individuals to broadcast sections of a video titled “Innocence of Muslims”, which led AFTE then to ask the court to join the suit in its capacity as an Egyptian human rights organization, focusing on freedom of expression and right to knowledge and digital freedoms.
AFTE explained to the court the danger in responding to the demand of the complainant as well as the subsequent violation of rights of internet users in general and youtube in particular. The court agreed to the intervention of AFTE from a procedural angle, but accepted the demands of the claimant.
In its appeal AFTE stated that the court ruling is a collective punishment of all youtube and Google service users, since it was proven that it was impossible to ban youtube without also banning all other internet services provided by the same company operating youtube.
AFTE explained that banning these websites will deprive internet users from the right of expressing themselves on those sites as well as depriving them of an important means of expression, which is not acceptable, considering that protection of freedom of expression extends to involve all forms of expression and is not limited to one form only.
AFTE added that youtube is an international platform used by individuals worldwide to post and exchange widely variable visual material, whether scientific, artistic, cultural, or religious and it is hence difficult to accept that such website be closed because one if its contents was met with disapproval of the court or the claimant.