Cairo 25 June, 2018

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said today that the regime of Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi blocked Katib website, which works on freedom of expression and rule of law, after only 9 hours from its launch, breaking the previous records set by the fleeing Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime, who blocked the Virtual demonstration site – – 18 hours after it was launched in 2005, and the Saudi regime who blocked the Egyptian Association for Change’s website – – after only 15 hours of its launch in April 2010.

Katib, which was launched at 1 pm yesterday, was the first human rights website dedicated to freedom of expression and the exchange of information. It highlights Egyptian and Arab prisoners of conscience. The block of the website was confirmed at 10 pm yesterday, making it the first real tangible accomplishment for President Sisi’s regime, which is characterized by repression and disregard for the law, but it is not an achievement to be proud of.

“The decision to block website came as no surprise, the surprise was its timing,” said Khalid al-Balshi, director of Katib website, as it comes in a general framework of repression and restrictions on press freedom, that has amounted to the arrest of dozens of journalists and more than 30 colleagues behind bars, in addition to the attempts to confiscate words, impose silence on everyone and legitimize blocking and confiscation through the press and media laws. al-Balshi stressed that our attempts to break the silence will not stop, as long as we are here, and as long as we still dream of a press that represents everyone.”

It is worth mentioning that the number of Katib’s visitors has reached about 10,500 visitors during the nine hours before it got blocked, in addition to the huge number of visitors to Katib’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

ANHRI’s Executive Director Gamal Eid said: “The block came as no surprise. Sisi’s regime, which is hostile towards freedom of expression and media freedom, has blocked over 500 sites in less than one year. The surprise was how quick the blocking took place, which hints at the large number of censors hired just to scan the web for independent websites. However, we will continue to post on Katib, just as ANHRI continued to work after its website got blocked 9 months ago. For as long as there is hostility towards democracy and freedom of expression, there will be resistance and we will continue to support the rule of law, freedom of expression and the values ​​of justice wasted under Sisi. As the late Palestinian artist Naji al-Ali said: ‘No matter how they try to stop us, we will write and draw on the walls’.”

ANHRI stresses that the policy of blocking websites continues to prove its failure day by day in blocking a word, an opinion or information, it only provides more evidence for the police approach of this regime and its hostility towards freedom of expression.

And we will keep going.