Egyptian court orders return of Faraeen channel, Okasha still banned
Ahram Online, Sunday 12 Jun 2016
Former MP Tawfik Okasha will remain barred from television, though the channel he owns will be allowed back on the air

An Egyptian court ordered Sunday a moratorium on a decision banning a TV channel owned by former MP Tawfik Okasha, who was sacked from parliament for hosting the Israeli ambassador to Egypt at his home.

Okasha, who is also a TV presenter on his own channel, Faraeen, is still banned from appearing on TV, according to the ruling, which should be put in effect but can still be appealed by the involved state body.

Egypt's Media Free Zone, which controls broadcasting permits, was the body that ordered the suspension of Faraeen in March and banned Okasha from appearing on TV.

The suspension order was a result of numerous complaints the authority received that the channel "has violated the law and principles of operation in the media zone," head of the Media Free Zone Hossam El-Haddad said at the time.

Later on, a majority of parliament members voted to strip Okasha of his seat on the grounds that he "violated the principles of the separation of powers and flouted parliament's regulations."

The meeting with Israeli ambassador Haim Koren sparked outcry in the media and in parliament, with one MP assaulting Okasha with a shoe.

Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, but relations between the two countries have remained cold, with many political forces — including workers and professional syndicates — rejecting any normalisation of ties.