News / Middle East

Egyptian Court Bans Aljazeera Affiliate, Pro-Islamist Channels

A screenshot of Aljazeera channel showing anti-government protests in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Aug. 30, 2013. The protests were not covered by Egyptian TV channels.A screenshot of Aljazeera channel showing anti-government protests in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Aug. 30, 2013. The protests were not covered by Egyptian TV channels.
x
A screenshot of Aljazeera channel showing anti-government protests in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Aug. 30, 2013. The protests were not covered by Egyptian TV channels.
A screenshot of Aljazeera channel showing anti-government protests in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Aug. 30, 2013. The protests were not covered by Egyptian TV channels.
Edward Yeranian
An Egyptian court has ordered four television channels to halt their broadcasts, including Aljazeera's local affiliate and a network belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.  

Aljazeera TV Direct, which focuses on Egyptian local politics, plays an appeal for freedom of the press, after announcing that an Egyptian court was restricting some of its activities.

The administrative court ruling Tuesday includes the Ahrar 25 network operated by the Brotherhood, as well as the pro-Islamist Al-Quds and Al-Yarmuk channels.

Aljazeera reported the court had placed restrictions on it and said Aljazeera was “broadcasting without a license.”  The station says it was granted a license in April.

Aljazeera Direct played a jingle Tuesday on its airwaves, amid an abbreviated news schedule, calling for the “victory of Islam and the defeat of secularism.”

Three Islamist-oriented satellite channels banned by the court Tuesday have been off the air since former President Mohamed Morsi was ousted on July 3.

Officials of Egypt's military-installed interim government have complained Aljazeera and several other media organizations have been broadcasting “biased” information."

Al Jazeera denies the charge, though critics say it has shown a trend toward having a higher proportion of Muslim Brotherhood guests on its shows.

Veteran Egyptian editor and publisher Hisham Kassem said that despite Aljazeera's “clear support for one (Egyptian) party against the other,” he does not think there was sufficient reason to stop it from broadcasting.

While he generally opposes restrictions on the press, he believes that there are situations, as in Sri Lanka, Kosovo and Rwanda, where in the past curbs have been warranted due to media inciting violence.

“I do accept that incitement has to be punishable by jail, and in that I bring up the case of Rwanda or Kosovo or Sri Lanka, where there was clear incitement," Kassem said. "If you call somebody a dog, then that can be libel and punishable by a fine.  But if you say, 'go out there,' and say, 'kill the men and rape the women', then that is incitement and you should be imprisoned for it.”

But Kassem says Aljazeera has “not committed incitement.”

Still, the Egyptian public and many government officials continue to call for increased restrictions against some media organizations, which are finding it increasingly dangerous to report from the streets.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid