U.S. State Department: YouTube ban, a violation of freedom of expression

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 12:50 PM 
Clashes in front of the American embassy on September 14 - Reuters

The U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Monday at the press briefing that the the United States rejects the ban on YouTube in Egypt.

She added that it is not quite clear at this moment how and whether this ban is going to be enforced across Egypt.

"As a general matter, we reject censorship as a response to offensive speech. That kind of action violates the universal rights of citizens to exercise their freedom of expression, association, and assembly," said Nulad.

A Cairo court ordered the ban of the online video service YouTube for a month  on Saturday for broadcasting an American anti-film.

The film, which insults Islamic Prophet Mohamed, prompted violent clashes across the region last year.

With regard to the situation in Egypt in general, Nuland said, "We are concerned that as Egyptian citizens express their frustrations with the pace of reform that they do so peacefully and as Egyptian security forces respond to those protests that they also exercise restraint."

Nuland added that the United States continues to support a broad dialogue between Egypt’s leaders and the various political stakeholders

She explained that there needs to be a strong national consensus in Egypt about the way forward.

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