Egypt’s top administrative court ordered authorities today to block video-sharing website YouTube in the country for a month, after a years-long appeals process over a film denigrating Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, a judicial official said. A lower court had ordered the video sharing site be blocked in 2013 after it carried the video “Innocence of Muslims”, but the case was appealed by Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and its ruling was stayed.
The 2012 amateurish film depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a buffoon and a paedophile, and sparked a wave of angry anti-American protests across the Middle East in which more than 30 people were killed. 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 ruling is considered final and cannot be appealed. As of today afternoon, YouTube was still accessible in Cairo.