Top Egypt court orders month-long YouTube ban over Prophet video

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Egypt’s top administrative court has ordered authorities to block video-sharing website YouTube for a month over a short film that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad.

The ruling on Saturday ended a years-long appeals process over the 2012 film, Innocence of Muslims, which depicts the Prophet Muhammad in a negative light.

Mohamed Hamid Salem, a lawyer who filed the case in 2013, told Reuters news agency the court’s decision also ordered all links that broadcast the film be blocked.

A lower administrative court had ordered YouTube be blocked in 2013 over the video, but Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority appealed and it remained available during the appeal process.

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Innocence of Muslims, a low-budget 13-minute video, was billed as a film trailer and made in California with private funding.

It provoked a wave of anti-American unrest that turned deadly in Egypt and other Muslim countries when it appeared in 2012. 

Washington sought to keep a lid on the demonstrations by saying the controversial film was made privately with no official backing.

US officials said freedom of speech laws prevented them from stopping the production of inflammatory material.

The top administrative court’s ruling is considered final and cannot be appealed.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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