Don’t go walking like an Egyptian just yet

CAIRO (AFP) — A Cairo court issued a ruling on Tuesday calling on the Egyptian government to ban foreign pornographic websites, the lawyer filing the suit told AFP.

“The court said that the (Communication and Information Technology) ministry must block these websites which are offensive to our religion, honour and manners,” Nizar Ghorab told AFP.

Ghorab, who filed the suit on his own initiative, said that the recent case of a man and his wife who were sentenced to prison for setting up a swingers club through the Internet “highlights the dangers posed by such offensive websites.”

He said he hoped the ministry would not appeal such a decision “which has nothing to do with personal freedom. If freedom harms others, it is no longer a freedom,” he said.

Judge Mohammed Attiya told the court that “freedoms and public rights are not absolute, they are limited by the respect … of the family which is the base of the society,” according to the ruling which was published by state news agency MENA.

When contacted by AFP, the ministry had not heard about the decision.

Egypt has over 12 million Internet users, according to 2007 government figures.

Egypt has in the past blocked political opposition websites, but access to pornographic sites remains reportedly unrestricted in the conservative nation.

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