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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More