Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 02, 2008

Egypt mulls Facebook ban as site spurs activism among nation’s youth

In an op-ed in Monday’s Los Angeles Times, Sherif Mansour of the U.S.-based human rights group Freedom House writes that the Egyptian government may soon block Facebook, the popular social networking site that he describes as a real threat to the ruling National Democratic Party.

Mansour lauds Facebook’s ability to mobilize and engage massive numbers of young Egyptians, as evidenced by the site’s critical role in organizing and supporting recent protests against textile workers’ salaries and soaring food prices. He also praises it for opening real space for free media and for providing a venue for secular activists – as opposed to the Islamist opposition represented the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the Egyptian government and its state-run media are lashing out against what Mansour calls the “Facebook movement,” and authorities have jailed dissidents like Ahmed Maher, who was also tortured for his activities.

Mansour calls on the international community to support the fledgling movement, particularly a campaign by one young activist to keep the Egyptian government from blocking Facebook.

For the full op-ed, click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home