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Human rights group sues TV channel for airing FJP conference

State-owned Voice of the People TV channel provided 'advertising' for Freedom and Justice Party when it broadcast its annual conference, human rights group says

Ahram Online , Monday 1 Oct 2012
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A human rights group has sued the state-owned Sawt El-Shaab (Voice of the People) TV channel, which specialises in airing sessions of Egypt's parliament, for broadcasting the Freedom and Justice Party's recent conference.

Hafez Abu-Seida, head of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR), filed the complaint with the general prosecutor on Monday to demand an investigation into the decision to grant the party two hours of peak time "advertising" on a state-owned TV channel.

The EOHR accused the head of the Voice of the People, the interior minister and the head of the specialised state channels department of using state property for private benefit for their decision to air the conference.

Abu-Seida questioned whether the FJP had paid for the two hour broadcast as an advertisement, which would have cost LE5,000 per second, or if the channel had broadcast the conference for free, in which case it was a waste of public money.

He also questioned whether other political parties would be given the same access to public television channels as the FJP.

The "Brotherhoodisation of the state" has been a major concern to many Egyptians since the Muslim Brotherhood's FJP garnered a majority of parliamentary seats, and their candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was elected president.     

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