Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, December 03, 2007

Egyptian anti-torture activist has YouTube account restored

Wael Abbas, the award-winning Egyptian anti-torture activist whose YouTube account was shut down on November 21 over questionable video content, had has account restored on November 30, FOXNews.com reported Saturday.

“We are committed to preserving YouTube as an important platform for expression of all kinds, while also ensuring that the site remains a safe environment for our users,” YouTube said in a statement. “Balancing these interests raises very tough issues. In this case, our general policy against graphic violence led to the removal of videos documenting alleged human rights abuses because the context was not apparent.

“Having reviewed the case, we have restored the account of Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas – and if he chooses to upload the video again with sufficient context so that users can understand his important message we will of course leave it on the site.”

Abbas is a blogger who writes regularly about police brutality, torture and sexual harassment. On YouTube, he has posted more than 100 videos of police brutality and public demonstrations over the past few years to push for human rights in Egypt. Many of the clips have been sent to Abbas by anonymous posters who document the incidents on their cell phones and know that the mainstream Egyptian press will not investigate.

“What is important to me is to have these videos available online for anybody because the anti-torture campaign in Egypt hasn’t stopped,” Abbas told FOXNews.com on Thursday. “There are people being killed in police stations everyday; elections continue to be rigged; there will be interference from the police inside the Egyptian university.

“So these videos are necessary to keep the world informed of what kind of ‘democracy’ that we have in Egypt and what kind of charade that we have here.”

For the full article, click here.


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