After they had been banned for five days, the access to several news websites, out of the 21 banned websites, has been enabled again on Monday. However, some users are still facing difficulty accessing these websites, according to AFTE’s researcher Mohamed El-Taher
On Wednesday, the Egyptian authorities blocked 21 news websites, including independent news outlets Mada Masr and Qatari outlet Al-Jazeera. The ban widened on Sunday to include the state-owned Egynews and the privately-owned Daily News Egypt.
The access to Mada Masr, Daily News Egypt, Moheet, Qatari outlet Al-Watan, Al-Sharq and Klmty, is back to users of certain internet service providers.
Security sources claimed that the banned websites spread lies and support terrorism. They told Reuters that the websites are either blocked for being affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood or funded by Qatar.
Mada Masr released a statement saying that it will publish its content on social media after the website had been banned for users in Egypt.
The Egyptian authorities haven’t commented on the ban.
Head of the Press Syndicate Abdel-Mohsen Salama said on Sunday that he will file a memorandum to Supreme Press Council to understand the reasons of the blockade of Egyptian news websites. However, Salama stood by the banning of Qatari websites.
Amr Badr, a member of the Press Syndicate Board, condemned the blockade. He said that it reflects an authority that doesn’t acknowledge constitutions or laws.
While several security forces have praised in their press statements the blockade and said that it is a “late move” that should have been taken earlier, rights groups and journalists decried the decision and depicted it as an attack on the freedom of press in Egypt.