Al Jazeera and 20 other websites blocked by Egyptian government for ‘supporting terrorism’
Egyptian Strong Moment against terrorism
In a move to strengthen its fight against terrorism, the Egyptian government has banned 21 websites, including the main website of Qatar-based Al Jazeera television.
The state news agency MENA and security sources quoted by Reuters said that these 21 websites have been banned for “supporting terrorism”. According to Reuters, these five websites which also included local Egyptian newspapers and broadcasters included the Al Jazeera website, which is not accessible from the country.
However, there are no official comments available in the matter. An official from the National Telecom Regulatory Authority was quoted by Reuters where he said, “So what if it is true? It should not be a problem.”
Apart from Al-Jazeera, other Egyptian websites included Masr Al Arabiya that the government said were financed by Qatar and were blocked because they supported terrorism.
MENA quoted a senior security source who said, “These 21 websites have been blocked inside Egypt for having content that supported terrorism and extremism as well (as) publishing lies”. Egypt is also planning to take legal action against the websites. Some reports suggest that the websites were blocked for being affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood or they were funded by Qatar government.
Egypt has been accusing Qatar of supporting Muslim Brotherhood, which was ousted from power in Egypt in 2013 when the mass movement led by the people of Egypt and military removed Islamist President Mohammed Mursi following a protest against his rule.
Mada Masr, an Egyptian news website based in the country which described itself as a progressive with no affiliations with Qatar was also banned by Egypt. The Arabic website of Huffington Post was also inaccessible, although the international version was accessible.
The block follows similar actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who got into a war of words with Qatar and blocked Al Jazeera and other websites on Wednesday.