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Egyptian Court Orders Blocking of YouTube Over Video, MENA Says

Mideast Egypt YouTube
Egyptians log on to the Internet at a community center in front of a mosque in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. A Cairo court on Saturday ordered the government to block access to the video-sharing website YouTube for 30 days for carrying an anti-Islam film that caused deadly riots across the world. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- An Egyptian court ordered YouTube to be blocked for a month after the website disseminated video footage deemed offensive to Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported, citing Administrative Court Judge Hassouna Tawfik.

The order, issued to the ministries of investment and telecommunications, is effective immediately, said the Cairo-based agency, also known as MENA.

YouTube, “did not respect the belief of the millions in Egypt and it overlooked the state of rage that prevailed amongst Muslims,” it said, citing court documents.

The video clip, which was produced in the U.S., raised the ire of some Muslims across the world, with some Islamist and youth groups in Cairo protesting in the vicinity of the American embassy.

Egyptian activists use the website, which is owned by Google Inc., to disseminate videos of police brutality, political satire and calls for protest.

Amr Gharbeia, civil liberties director at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said the order wouldn’t work because the footage can be accessed from other websites.

“There has to be an awareness that there are people who have different opinions,” Gharbeia said by phone from Cairo.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ola Galal in Cairo at ogalal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mahmoud Kassem at mkassem1@bloomberg.net

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