Cairo: Rights groups are decrying a crackdown by Egyptian authorities on media considered sympathetic to ousted President Mohamed Morsi, shutting down four religious stations, banning the Muslim Brotherhood`s newspaper and raiding the office of Al-Jazeera Live Egypt.
Al-Jazeera TV demanded the release of its local affiliate`s managing director and broadcast engineer, saying Egyptians "expect media freedoms to be respected". Its Live Egypt channel was back on air on Thursday, from Qatar.
A security official said the stations were shut down over suspicions of incitement, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the press.
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information said that it does not justify shutting the stations down. London-based Amnesty International called the shutdowns a "blow to freedom of expression".