Egypt lifts street photography ban for tourists, with certain conditions

Posted by David Henning on 4 August 2022

Queues of tourists waiting to take an image at a famous site, vloggers relentlessly filming, selfies the norm and trying to remain calm as an ‘influencer’ takes over the attraction to get that perfect shot. Like it or not, this is now commonplace at popular destinations.

Egypt lifts street photography ban for tourists, with certain conditions

The Temple of Philae. Picture: Getaway Gallery/ Justin Fox

However, until recently in Egypt, these kinds of actions would regularly result in intimidation from law enforcement and confiscation of your camera equipment.

Now, photography is allowed, but under certain conditions. A statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities read that the ‘Egyptian Government allows Egyptians and tourists to take photographs for (non-commercial use) in all public places in Egypt free of charge and without requiring any permit’, but it is ‘completely forbidden to take or share photographs of scenes that can, in one way or another, damage the country’s image’.

Some activists and research groups blame the reasoning for this on Egypt’s intimidation of journalists since the military coup in 2013, with several human rights organisations denouncing the arrests of journalists and vloggers in a joint statement.

‘Human rights organisations condemn authorities for targeting journalists, bloggers, and online content creators, and demand immediate release of those detained’ the statement read.

Restrictions will still remain in place for commercial photography and photographing children and ‘Egyptian citizens can only be photographed after obtaining written permission from them’.

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