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Al Jazeera, three other TV channels banned in Egypt

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 18:47

Cairo: An Egyptian court on Tuesday ordered the closure of four television channels, including Al-Jazeera`s local affiliate and one run by Muslim Brotherhood, accusing them of being sympathetic to deposed President Mohamed Morsi

The administrative court also banned news channel Ahrar 25, a network belonging to the Brotherhood, and two other Islamist broadcasters - Al-Yarmuk and Al-Quds.

Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr (Al-Jazeera Egypt) came under fire two days after authorities expelled three foreign journalists working as freelancers for the Doha-based network`s English-language channel.

Egyptian authorities accused the news channel of bias in its reporting of the July 3 ouster of Islamist president Morsi by the army, Ahram Online reported.

The officials even said Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr posed a threat to national security and unity.

The channel has previously complained that the security forces raided its Cairo offices and seized equipment.

The three other channels were also blamed for one-sided reporting in favour of the Brotherhood and its supporters.

They were accused of spreading lies and false information to stir tension and cause panic.

Deputy head of the State Council Hasonah Tawfik said the court`s decision came after it received CDs showing that these channels broadcast false information about Egypt and religious fatwas inciting against the Egyptian army.

He said the court found out that these channels tried to stir tension between the army and people and incited foreign countries and international organisations against Egypt.

The ruling came a day after Islamist broadcaster Al-Hafez was ordered to be off air following accusations that it was "inciting hatred" against Coptic Christians and "undermining national unity".

The ruling cannot be appealed.

Ahrar 25 was among several other Islamist networks that went off air soon after July 3.

The ministers of investment, telecommunication and information earlier said Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr did not have legal permits to work in the country and has been using unlicensed broadcasting devices.

The news channel`s offices in Cairo have been closed since July 3. It is currently broadcasting from Qatar.


First Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 18:47
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