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Egypt's prosecutor-general orders ban on porn websites

Prosecutor-General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud instructs telecommunications, information and interior ministries to implement three-year old court order banning online pornography

Ahram Online, Wednesday 7 Nov 2012
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Egyptian Prosecutor-General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud submitted an official letter to the ministries of telecommunications, information and the interior on Wednesday ordering that measures be adopted to ban pornographic websites in Egypt based on a 2009 court order to this effect.

In May 2009, Egypt's High Administrative Court declared a ban on pornographic websites. The move was based on a lawsuit filed by Islamist lawyer Nezar Ghourab.

On Wednesday, a group of Salafist Muslims belonging to a grassroots campaign dubbed 'Pure Net' staged a demonstration in front of Cairo's High Court to demand enforcement of the ban.

Backed by several prominent Salafist preachers, the 'Pure Net' campaign calls for the prohibition of adult websites in Egypt on grounds that such sites "violate Egyptian customs and values."  

Younis Makhyoun, a former Salafist MP, had broached the issue in Egypt's parliament before the assembly was dissolved this summer by order of the military.

The controversial issue, however, was met by uproar on the part of liberal critics, who voiced concern about the possible impact such legislation might have on "freedom of expression."

Salafist leaders, for their part, have repeatedly criticised Mahmoud for failing to implement the 2009 court order.

The prosecutor-general himself was recently the source of controversy when the Muslim Brotherhood called for his dismissal following the acquittal of several Mubarak-era officials charged with responsibility for the death of protesters during last year's revolution.

Last month, President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood's ranks, unsuccessfully attempted to remove Mahmoud – who was appointed by Mubarak in 2006 – from his post.

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