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Rights Group: Egypt blocking German govt-backed website

August 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm

The Egyptian authorities have blocked a website run by German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, according to a Cairo-based rights NGO.

In a statement released late Thursday, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information reported that the Egyptian authorities had blocked Deutsche Welle’s Qantara website without providing a reason.

“Internet users in Egypt have tried to access the site, but to no avail,” the NGO said, noting that the move brought the total number of websites to be blocked by the Egyptian authorities since May 1 to 127.

According to the rights group, the Qantara website does not focus exclusively on Egyptian political affairs but rather features articles on a variety of topics in German, English and Arabic.

Directly supported by the German Foreign Ministry, the website claims to promote “constructive dialogue and communication between multi-cultures and civilizations with a view to establishing a universal human culture”.

Cairo remains the frequent target of criticism by local and international rights organizations that accuse the Egyptian regime of violating media freedoms.

The regime, for its part, dismisses the claims, insisting that it supports free expression.