A temporary ban on YouTube imposed in Egypt over a video deemed offensive to Islam is a setback for freedom of expression , Amnesty International has said.
A court in Cairo this weekend ordered a 30-day block on the video-sharing website in the wake of the controversial 'Innocence of Muslims' video, which sparked protests across Muslim countries in September.
Saturday's court ruling said that "freedom of opinion [should] not attack the beliefs of others".
"This ruling is a clear assault of freedom of expression and has far-reaching consequences in the country where activists have relied heavily on YouTube to expose human rights abuses in the country," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
"Criticism of religions and beliefs are a vital part of freedom of expression – regardless of how offensive or intolerant the opinion might be."
Cairo's Administrative Court said there must be a balance between freedom of expression and “the interests and goals of society, and the protection of its values and traditions".