The Egyptian government blocks the website of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms
In a new attack on the right of everybody living in Egypt to access and relay information, the Egyptian government blocked the Internet website of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) today at around 7am : www.ec-rf.org
Since ECRF believes in the rights of everybody to access and impart information and their right to freedom of opinion and expression, ECRF asserts that it will continue to publish information, reports and news about violations of human rights in Egypt. It will deal with the blockage and allow access to the content of its website (by suggesting to visitors using certain tools) as well as by launching other alternative websites to the one above, as well as on its page on Facebook.:www.facebook.com/ecrf.net
The Egyptian government’s insistence on confiscating the virtual space and its censorship of the Internet – especially by blocking websites that publish information, news or reports that are different from the rosy and false image the government tries to disseminate on the situation of human rights in Egypt – shows not only that it refuses any criticism but also that its arguments are weak. Those with no arguments don’t reply with logic or with better arguments, however they smear the other side and question its credibility and intentions, and when this fails too, they prevent the other’s side’s voice from reaching the public.
The blockages of ECRF’s website and many other websites is a clear violation of article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, which states that: “1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference. 2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.” In addition, article 65 of the Egyptian constitution states that: ” Freedom of thought and opinion are guaranteed. Every human has the right to express his/her opinion by speech, or in writing, or by photography, or by any other means of expression and publication”.
ECRF considers that the defense of human rights – be it civil and political rights (such as prisoners and detainees rights and right or victims of enforced disappearances), or economic and social rights (such as the right to adequate housing and health rights), or non-discrimination and minority rights (for Copts and Nubians and others) – is a human quest to construct an open, free and democratic society capable of development and wealth. And that respect of human rights by the authorities is necessary to protect the constitution and rule of law which is the main shield in facing extremism and violence.