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Can Egypt’s communication giants be sued in the US for the blackout early in the revolution?
Author: Yasmine Gado, Ahram Online, Published on: 24 May 2011
Beginning on 28 January 2011, on the orders of former president Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s telecommunications giants Vodafone, Mobinil and Etisalat cut services, phones and the Internet for five days. Mubarak took the action to inhibit Egyptians' freedom to associate and organise, part of an overall terror campaign to suppress the revolt against his regime…In April, the Egyptian Centre for Housing Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of other plaintiffs against the three telecommunications companies…seeking compensation for the damages they suffered due to the shutdown of communications…An interesting question is whether any of these companies could also be sued in US courts…under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA)….If Egyptian plaintiffs can convince a US court that by shutting down communications the telecom companies knowingly participated in a campaign designed to inhibit and deny Egyptians the freedom to associate and organize and even more egregiously a terror campaign that included torture and extrajudicial killing, they may have a case. [also refers to Verizon, Orascom]