Ban on YouTube for ‘blasphemy’
Pakistan has ordered all Internet service providers to block YouTube for its blasphemous content and material considered offensive to Islam, officials said on Sunday.
“An inter-ministerial committee has decided to block YouTube because it contained blasphemous content, videos and documents,” a government official said. “The site will remain blocked till further orders,” he said.
Other officials said the site had been blocked because it contained controversial sketches of the Prophet Mohammed which were republished by Danish newspapers earlier this month.
One major service provider, Micronet, said in an e-mail to subscribers that the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority had directed all ISPs to block access to YouTube for containing blasphemous web content/movies.
Meanwhile, Internet users can write to YouTube.com to remove the objectionable web content/movies because this removal would enable the authorities to order unblocking of this website, the e-mail said.
At least 17 Danish newspapers republished the controversial drawing, vowing to defend freedom of expression a day after Danish Police said they had foiled a plot to murder the cartoonist.
In the latest series of demonstrations over the cartoons in Pakistan, activists from a hardline Islamic organisation burned a Danish flag in the the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta.