Egypt to ban photography ‘offensive to the country’.
Egypt is set to make changes on how it regulates photography in public spaces.
Foreign vloggers and social media influencers have in recent months brought attention to Egyptian authorities’ practice of stopping people taking photos and videos, even at tourist sites, and confiscating camera equipment.
Egyptian nationals and foreign tourists alike have complained that authorities have requested permits for shooting in public areas, and at times seized cameras and forbidden shooting even if a permit is in place.
The unwanted publicity has forced the Egyptian government to backtrack, announcing on Wednesday that it has “approved new regulations governing photography, for personal use.”
“Taking photographs using all kinds of traditional cameras, digital cameras and video cameras will be permitted free of charge. No permit needs to be obtained beforehand,” it said.
However, some restrictions have remained in place.
According to Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, “it is completely forbidden to take or share photographs of scenes that can, in one way or another, damage the country’s image”.
What constitutes as “damage the country’s image” is at the discretion of the authorities.
Restrictions will also remain in place for photographing children and for commercial photography.