Egypt blocks more internet sites

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CAIRO: Egypt, under fire for muzzling freedom of expression, has blocked access to around 60 news websites and service providers since the end of May, rights groups and media figures said on Monday. Back in May, around 20 websites based in Qatar and in Egypt were made inaccessible, including the Qatar’s Al-Jazeera and the independent Egyptian news site Mada Masr which has been critical of corruption. By Monday the number of blocked sites had risen to 62, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression NGO said on its website. They included 10 Egyptian news websites as well as several providers of virtual private networks (VPN) that can be used to get around state-imposed censorship, it said. “Some of the sites had been temporarily unblocked but were blocked again,” said Fatma Serag, a human rights lawyer who works for the NGO. The latest Egyptian news websites made inaccessible include Al-Badil and Al-Bedaya, which has often published material critical of government policies. Al-Bedaya’s chief editor, Khaled Elbalshy, told Agence France-Presse he had submitted a complaint to the Egyptian journalists’ union, demanding to know why his website was blocked and by which state authority.

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AFP

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