SUDAN: YouTube blocked



CAIRO, July 29, 2008 (ANHRI/IFEX) – On 29 July 2008, Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounced the Sudanese government's decision to block the video sharing website YouTube. Since 22 July, Internet users in Sudan have been unable to access the site, instead receiving an error message stating that the site was blocked by the National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC).

Sudan is the latest in a list of countries that has banned YouTube, a list that includes Turkey, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, and Syria.

The NTC did not provide any explanation for blocking the well known and popular website that permits users worldwide to share user-created movies for free.

YouTube has recently become a key tool for political activists. A number of video clips have been posted with footage of Sudanese security personnel beating and torturing minors, who were arrested and detained following the 10 May armed attack on the capital, Khartoum, by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels. Mass arrests in Khartoum of perceived supporters of the Darfur rebel group followed the attack.

The blocking of YouTube was criticized throughout the nation and a number of journalists and activists have launched online protest campaigns. The website Sudaneseonline, which was also blocked for a short period at the end of 2005, demanded that the government reverse its decision.

ANHRI calls on the government to lift the ban on YouTube and to put an end to its policy of prohibiting the circulation of information on the Internet.

For further information on the blocking of YouTube in other countries, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/93724, http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/92440.

For further information contact Gamal Eid, Executive Director, ANHRI, Apartment 10, No. 5, Street 105, from Midan al Hurriya, Al Maadi, Cairo, Egypt, tel/fax: +202 2 524 9544, e-mail: info@anhri.net, gamal4eid@yahoo.com, Internet: http://www.anhri.net/en/

The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of ANHRI. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit ANHRI.
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