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Freedom of information group condemns YouTube block in Sudan

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 18 September 2012 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the blocking of YouTube by Sudanese authorities.

On 16 September 2012, the Sudanese Ministry of Communication blocked YouTube from the Internet without reasons and without details. The decision was strongly condemned by several journalists and activists, who tried to call the National Communication Authority, but were not provided with information.

Some analysts attribute the block to the role that YouTube plays in communication between rebel movements; YouTube also provides these movements with media support.

Sudan now joins the list of countries that have blocked YouTube for the second and fourth time since its establishment. These countries are: Syria, India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

According to ANHRI, "blocking YouTube and forbidding Sudanese citizens from following current events and news outside Sudan are clear violations of freedom of expression, opinion, the right to information access and exchange”.

ANHRI added that "blocking YouTube is a methodological continuation of the regime's suppression of...any news related to angry movements that call for democracy”.

ANHRI mentioned that "the mechanism of suppressing and blocking [is] used by all suppressive regimes, especially the Arab regime."

ANHRI calls on all concerned parties and activists to support freedom of opinion, expression and the Internet. Moreover, it calls on them to continue to protest against the blocking of YouTube until it is unblocked as it is one of the most important independent platforms supporting democracy in Sudan.

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