Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism

Egypt bans two stations from satellite service

8 September 2014

Two  news channels were banned from broadcasting on the state-owned NileSat satellite service by the Egyptian State Council, a judicial advisory body, Sept. 3.

Qatar's state-owned al-Jazeera and the Turkey-based Rabba were charged with airing broadcasts supportive of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. A suit filed with the judicial advisory body alleges the al-Jazeera violated rules set by the Council of Arab Ministers of Information, which calls on media outlets to maintain public unity and order, according to the Egyptian news site Ahram Online.

Egyptians can still receive al-Jazeera on their televisions through other satellites providers.

The State Council’s presiding judge, Hasouna Tawfiq, said the channels were found inciting “hatred and sedition” and [were] “undermining national unity.” Samir Sabry, a lawyer who filed the a separate lawsuit against Rabba, accused the channel of inciting violence and spreading false news, Ahram said.

Egypt's military leaders, who overthrew former president Mohammed Morsi in a coup last year, accuse al-Jazeera and the Qatari government of backing the Brotherhood and Morsi. Egyptian prosecutors charged Morsi Sept. 6 with endangering national security by leaking state secrets to Qatar, Reuters reported.

Al-Jazeera's journalists were previously banned from the country in 2011 amidst the upheaval that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.  In June, three Al-Jazeera English journalists were sentenced to 7 to 10 years in prison allegedly aiding the Brotherhood in their reporting. On Sept. 4, one of the jailed journalists, Mohammed Fahmy, applied to marry his fiance in prison, according to The Guardian newspaper.

Rabaa is named after Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square in Cairo, where hundreds of Islamist protesters were killed by security forces in August 2013 following Morsi's ouster.


Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism.
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