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Blog shut down after promoting opposition candidate

(ANHRI/IFEX) - In a statement released on 13 September 2010, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said that individuals who call for change and democratic reform in Egypt have seen their blogs and websites affected. The blog belonging to Amr Osama ( has been blocked and closed by the free Emirati hosting service provider. It is alleged that the blocking was the result of a post about Omar Soliman as a potential Egyptian presidential candidate, the campaign launch and how it relates to succession.

Visitors to the blog were surprised to find the following message informing them that the website had been blocked: . The link explained that the blog was blocked due to a complaint submitted by Gamal Mubarak, the president's son, who is secretary for the policies committee of the NDP political party and a possible presidential candidate. The hosting company has redirected the blog web address to a Google site.

ANHRI said, "The blocking message displayed has the hosting company name, , but ANHRI assumes the hosting company is worried of getting into trouble for hosting a blog that voices the opinions of dissidents and people who call for democratic change".

ANHRI said, "If the reason for blocking Amr Osama's blog was a complaint from Gamal Mubarak, then this would be a heavy blow to freedom of expression and the right to information circulation in Egypt. It is an indication of an unfair rivalry between Gamal Mubarak and Mohamed ElBaradei. ElBaradei's supporters are being pursued and arbitrarily arrested, while supporters of Mubarak enjoy all sorts of protection and advocacy in state-owned papers that dedicate many pages for promoting him.

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