Egypt State Council bans Al Jazeera, Rabaa on NileSat

Ahram Online, Wednesday 3 Sep 2014

Two TV channels seen to be biased towards the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood will no longer be available on Egypt's satellite operator

The logo of Al Jazeera Media Network is seen at the MIPTV, the International Television Programs Market, event in Cannes 2 April, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's State Council ruled on Wednesday to ban broadcasts of two pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV channels – the privately privately-owned Rabaa channel and Qatari-owned Al Jazeera – on Egypt's satellite operator NileSat.

Egyptian lawyer Mamdouh Tamam had filed a lawsuit with the council, which is a judicial advisory body, to ban broadcasting Al Jazeera on NileSat on charges that it violates rules set by the Council of Arab Ministers of Information that call on media outlets to maintain public unity and order.

This is the second time the council has issued a similar ruling.

Viewers in Egypt can still receive Al Jazeera on their televisions through other satellites.

Al Jazeera has been heavily criticised for being biased towards the Brotherhood, which was outlawed by Egypt's government following the popular military-led ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last summer.

Two Al Jazeera journalists are jailed in Egypt on charges of fabricating news that falsely portrays Egypt as being in a state of "civil war," as well as aiding or joining the banned Brotherhood.

Cairo offices of the network's Egypt-focused channel, Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, have been closed since 3 July 2013 – the date of Morsi's ouster.

Meanwhile, the State Council also banned broadcasts of the Rabaa channel after lawyer Samir Sabry filed a lawsuit accusing it of spreading false news against Egypt and inciting protests and violence.

Rabaa was launched in December last year from Turkey – a key ally during Morsi's brief one-year term and a critic of Egypt's current authorities.

The channel is named after Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square, site of a pro-Morsi protest camp that was forcibly dispersed by security forces on 14 August 2013, leading to the death of hundreds.

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