The Egyptian authorities blocked Ikhwanweb.com " the official English language web site of the Muslim Brotherhood group" through denying web surfers access to the Web site’s Domain inside Egypt with the use of programming technologies, and technological equipment and systems produced by Western companies for blocking certain web sites nationwide, attempts which were thwarted by the web site’s officials through changing the web site’s IP and using another emergency Domain.
Khaled Salam, the web site’s editor, attributed the foiled attempt of blocking the web site to publishing news of torturing, humiliating and abusing Egyptian citizens inside Egyptian police stations and prisons, exercises which are carried by the Interior Ministry officers.
Salam considered the attempt of blocking the web site as a blind fanaticism against the freedom of expression, the independence of opinion and a shame on the face of the "electronic government" that fights the freedom of publishing information and expressing opinion which are adopted by international charters.
This action violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers".
The attempt of blocking Ikhwanweb.com is the third of such a kind towards this 2 years old website. Also, the MB’s official Arabic website was blocked for six months on 2004, after the police forces broke into the web site’s headquarters and arrested the then editor-en-chief, Dr. Gamal Nassar.
Experts: Blocking Ikhwanweb.com proves its efficiency, effectiveness
On his part, Dr. Diaa Rashwan, the researcher in Al-Ahram Center for Political Studies said " The policies of repressive governments include denying their peoples information because culture and information are the key enemy to dictatorship and repression .
Rashwan pointed to the method of the Third World governments, including of course the Egyptian government, of blocking political websites, the biggest enemy for authoritarian regimes in our Arab region.
Rashwan considered that blocking Ikhwanweb.com proves the website’s effectiveness among Western arenas.
The political researcher called on websites that criticize the Arab dictatorships to have some kind of coordination among them, specially in the campaigns of human rights, and detentions and others .
On the other hand, Dr. Mohamed Al Sayed Said, a researcher in Al-Ahram Center for Political Studies and a member in the Kifaya opposition movement, said that "Doing such exercises, the Egyptian government declares its bankruptcy and inability to confront the opposition thought that used the cyberspace as a battlefield for exposing the Egyptian regime’s exercises and revealing the many cases of tortures carried out in Egyptian prisons and police stations that are currently similar to detention camps of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib .
Said pointed to incidents of beating political opponents, including the incident of beating Dr. Abdul Halim Kandeel, a writer, a political opponent and a member of Kifaya Movement, beating other politicians .
Said confirmed that these incidents prove that the Egyptian regime retreated from its promises of reform and is no longer able to accept any serious and real opposition.
The Internet, Stubborn Opponent to Governments
"The Internet is a new battlefield for Arab governments’s conflict against the freedom of expression" this is an outline of the report of "the Arab initiative for Internet Freedom" whose manager, Gamal Eid, says:" The conflict we are witnessing between the Arab governments and the Internet is only a small part of the iceberg that represents a real conflict between these governments and the freedom of expression as one of the democratic features which have been absent for long in the Arab world".
The report described Egypt as seeking seriously to hide its enmity to the Internet and to appear is a country that supports it; however, the attacks that it launched against a number of bloggers involved in the movement for the support of democracy and torturing one of them, blogger Mohamed Al Sharqawi and jailing the secularist blogger Karim Amer because of his views, all these exercises revealed the continuous stable way of shadowing enmity to all values and principles of the freedom of opinion and expression.
Reporters Without Borders noticed that authoritarian regimes and governments have been continuously seeking to impose restrictions on the Internet and mainly through using increasingly complicated filters and censorship tools in addition to establishing Internet Police to fight the Internet.
The European parliament condemns E. repression
The European parliament condemned, in its decision over the freedom of opinion and expression on the Internet, the restrictions imposed by governments on the Internet content, including publishing or receiving information, in a way that contradicts with guaranteeing the freedom of opinion and expression; it also condemned jailing and harassing journalists and others who express their opinions through the Internet; the European Council and the European Commission called for taking all necessary measures over the power of the countries concerned for an immediate release for all Internet prisoners.