Amnesty International has condemned Egypt’s online crackdown against rights groups, calling it an attempt to “stamp out online criticism of their human rights record”.
In a press release issued on its website on Tuesday, the oragnsiation’s Director of Campaigns at the Regional Office in North Africa, Najia Bounaim, said: “In recent months the Egyptian authorities have cut off access to dozens of news websites with a wave of digital censorship, and now it looks like human rights NGOs are set to be the next target.”
BREAKING: Human Rights Watch website has been blocked in Egypt, bringing total number of websites inaccessible on Egyptian ISPs to 424.
— Mada Masr مدى مصر (@MadaMasr) September 7, 2017
Egypt yesterday blocked the website of Human Rights Watch after the organisation published a scathing report of the systematic torture of political prisoners which constitute a “crime against humanity”.
Human rights associations in the country have already been attacked with unprecedented assets freeze, travel bans on their employees, and through strict NGO law signed earlier this year, which severely restricted their work
Amnesty’s Bounaim said.
“Instead of imposing arbitrary censorship on websites, the Egyptian authorities must put an end to the attacks on journalists, human rights associations and other critics on the Internet and stop repressive measures on freedom of expression.”
According to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, 424 websites have been blocked since May, including the Mada Egypt news websites, the NGO Reporters Without Borders.