Egypt's state TV decided on Thursday to suspend a presenter of a morning show for two episodes for offensive remarks against January 25 Revolution protesters, and not for praising Hosni Mubarak's role in the 6 October War, the head of the news department of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), Khaled Mehanna, told Ahram Online
"TV presenter George Rashad was suspended for two episodes for his encroaching on the rights of of those who protested on 25 January 2011," Mehanna told Ahram Online, refuting reports that Rashad was suspended for hailing Mubarak's role in airstrikes during the 6 October War.
Rashad had criticised 25 January protesters' claims that airstrikes accredited to Mubarak should not be attributed to him. Rashad was suspended from the morning show for two episodes but will continue to present newscasts.
Mubarak's Facebook support page, "I'm sorry, Mr President," said Wednesday that Rashad was suspended for accrediting Mubarak's role, launching a hashtag "I support George Rashad" and "In Solidarity with George Rashad" while describing the move by ERTU as a "mark of shame" on the state owned TV.
"A TV presenter should be a conveyor of truth who doesn't state his personal opinion. The decision came along the TV's professional role as we are a respectable institution," Mehanna added.
In Wednesday's programme's episode commemorating the 43rd anniversary of 6 October War, Rashad saluted former presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar El-Sadat for their roles during the War of Attrition and 6 October War, respectively.
He also hailed ousted President Mubarak's role during the war, slamming those who claimed that the first airstrike against Israel in the 1973 war, which was led by Mubarak as head of the Air Force, should not be accredited to him.
"A salute of love and gratitude to the former president Hosni Mubarak, the leader of the airstrike, that due to his wise leadership our army defeated Israel," he said.
"There is no room for those who went out for protests in January 2011 and later to promote ideas that the airstrike was not attributed to Mubarak. This is slander and a rigging of history. Those are the Muslim Brotherhood, and 6 April, and anyone similar who want to defame anyone and anything in this beautiful country," Rashad said.