Brazil court orders YouTube to remove anti-Islam film from site

[JURIST] A Brazilian state court on Wednesday gave YouTube 10 days to remove from its website a film deemed offensive to Muslims. The court order [text, PDF, in Portuguese] follows a recent lawsuit brought by Muslim group National Islamic Union against Youtube's parent company Google [company website] asserting that the movie violates their freedom of religion [Reuters report]. In his injunction, Judge Gilson Delgado Miranda suggested the film may lead towards religious discrimination and attached a penalty for failure to remove the film [UOL Report, in Portuguese] of R$10,000 per day (approximately USD$4,900) after the deadline. The movie, titled Innocence of Muslims [BBC backgrounder], is a spoof film; its characterization of the Prophet Mohammed as a fool and womanizer incited a rapid and violent uprising in the Middle East, including an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left US Ambassador Christopher Stevens [WP obituary] and three other Americans dead.

Last week UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai [official website] condemned the recent violence [JURIST report] that erupted after the film's release. Kiai stated that protests and rallies must be peaceful to be protected by international human rights law and urged the Middle East states to prosecute those responsible for the violence. Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] urged religious and political leaders [JURIST report] to encourage an end to the violence that followed the release of the film. While Pillay said she "fully understand[s] why people wish to protest strongly against" the film, she "utterly condemn[s]" the violence that has resulted from the protests. Also last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [official website] declared that the US had nothing to do with the anti-Muslim film [Reuters report] despite its apparent production in America, in turn labeling it disgusting and reprehensible.

 

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