Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pakistan Supreme Court Orders Websites With Muhammad Cartoons Blocked

On order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority has blocked access in the country to all websites displaying the controversial cartoons of Muhammad that were first published in a Danish paper. Asia Media reports that in the suit against a number of defendants, including Yahoo USA, attorney Qamar Afzal argued that availability of the cartoons should be declared to be intellectual terrorism. The court asked Attorney General of Pakistan Makhdoom Ali Khan to assist the court in determining how it can exercise broader jurisdiction to prevent availability of blasphemous material on websites all over the world. The court will take up the case again next Monday.

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange reported last week that the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority ordered Internet service providers to block 12 websites carrying the offending cartoons. ISPs, apparently as required by the PTA order, to implement the blackout have blocked all blogs hosted by