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Lebanese court on anti-Islam video: Blocking is the answer


Beirut, (Al-Akhbar): Judge Nadim Zouein on Monday ruled to ban internet access to the controversial Innocence of Muslims, the amateur YouTube video denigrating the Prophet Mohammad which has sparked outraged protests across the Islamic world over the past few weeks.

The ruling was made following a personal complaint filed by Lebanese lawyer Mai al-Khansa after the Lebanese government took no action over the matter.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has voluntary blocked access to the video in several countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, India. Other countries, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Sudan, acted on their own to ban the film.

Saudi Arabia and Russia both successively petitioned Google to block the video in their countries as well.

"In his verdict, Zouein ruled that "the film entails scenes that include major and clear offense for the plaintiff [...] immediate intervention is required by the duty judge to put an end to it."

A judicial source insisted that the judge's ruling was not based on the plaintiff’s religion, but "because she is a Lebanese citizen who suffered moral and psychological damage from the film."

The next step is for the Lebanese authorities to formally deliver the verdict to the hosting websites’ headquarters in the United States, asking them to block access from Lebanon. In the meantime, Judge Zouein requested local internet provides take all necessary measures to block the film.

Khansa, the plaintiff, told Al-Akhbar that she intends to "go to America, armed with a judicial ruling from my country, and file a lawsuit there against the director, producer, actors, funders, and instigators; generally, against all those proven to be involved."

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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