The government of Afghanistan has blocked YouTube following violent protests in Egypt and the killing of an American diplomat in Libya.
“We have been told to shut down YouTube to the Afghan public until the video is taken down,” said Aimal Marjan, general director of Information Technology at the Ministry of Communications.
According to the report, Marjan would not go into any more detail concerning why YouTube has been blocked in the country – whether it was to prevent more violence or to simply prevent Afghan citizens from viewing the video.
The video in question is titled “Innocence of Muslims,” and depicts Mohammad as a philanderer and a fake prophet. The video was created by Sam Bacile, and Israeli-American who said that he made the film in order to draw attention to “hypocrisies” in the Islamic faith. The highly controversial video has sparked protests across the world, some of which have been violent.
The U.S. mission in Egypt was attacked earlier this week, as protesters violently stormed the walls of the compound. And in Libya, four people were killed when a mob fired rockets at the U.S. Consulate in anger over the video. One of the men killed was U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.
Libya’s Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib has since apologized “to the American people and the government, and also to the rest of the world” for the “cowardly criminal act.”
Although YouTube has been blocked in plenty of countries around the world, this marks the first time the government of Afghanistan has fully blocked the site to its citizens.[via Reuters]