Egypt’s court shuts down belly dancing channel, religious cleric

Ahram Online, Saturday 16 Feb 2013

Egypt's administrative court shuts down famous belly dancing channel Al-Tet and, in a separate case, Sheikh Abdullah Badr's programme

Egypt’s court takes Belly dancing channel
(Photo: Ahram Online)

Egyptian administrative court rules in two separate cases on Saturday to cut the broadcast of a channel and a programme amid the recent rise in media-related cases.

In the first case, the court orders that the popular Al-Tet belly dancing channel be taken off air for broadcasting on satellite without a license.

The court ruling also accused the channel of airing "provocative advertisements" for sexual products and for facilitating escort-like services.

In May, the owner of Al-Tet, Baleegh Hamdi was arrested on suspicions of facilitating prostitution through his channel, but was later released. Anyone involved in prostitution could face three years in jail under Egyptian law.

In the other case, the administrative court rejects an appeal on Saturday by Sheikh Abdullah Badr and Atef Abdel-Rashid, the owner Al-Hafez religious channel, against a ruling on 12 January that barred Badr's programme Fi Al-Mizan for 30 days.

Prominent actress Elham Shahin and TV anchor Hala Sarhan filed the original lawsuit, demanding the Al-Hafez channel be shut down for insulting Shahin on his programme.

"Elham Shahin is cursed and she will never enter heaven," Badr said on air.

Badr was slammed on 17 December with a year in jail and bail set at LE20,000 (roughly $3,000) by a misdemeanour court.

In November, Masr El-Gedida TV host and Salafist preacher Khaled Abdullah, known for his vocal criticism of liberals and opposition protesters, was taken off the air for 25 days by court order.

In August anti-revolution Al-Faraeen channel, owned by controversial TV anchor Tawfiq Okasha, was shut down after the Muslim Brotherhood filed a lawsuit accusing Okasha of inciting violence against the Brotherhood and encouraging attacks on President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood's ranks. Al-Faraeen was brought back on air in October.

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