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Egypt state TV suspends host for 'lack of neutrality'

The TV host is accused of a lack of neutrality after criticising President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on air

Ahram Online , Monday 9 Nov 2015
Azza El-Hanawy
A screen capture from Azza El-Hanawy's show (Photo: Ahram online"
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The state-run Egyptian Radio and TV Union (ERTU) announced on Monday it has suspended a local channel host and her crew for lack of neutrality, after she criticised President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on air.

During her weekly TV show, Cairo News, on Channel 3, veteran host Azza El-Hanawy was speaking about the spread of corruption in Egypt's municipalities and called on President El-Sisi to look into the issue.

El-Hanawy, in her last appearance before suspension on 1 November, also called on the president to make sure that state officials are held accountable.

She added that because "the president appoints state officials," he should also be answerable to the same standards.

El-Hanawy, who did not appear on screen in her usual Sunday slot, was summoned for questioning on the same day for showing a "lack of neutrality and objectivity."

In a media statement the next day, head of ERTU Essam El-Amir said action was taken against her because she "went off the script" and "expressed personal views on a news programme."

This is not the first time for El-Hanawy to be suspended by state TV after expressing personal political views.

During the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak, she was suspended for almost a year and eight months. Under the rule of former president Mohamed Morsi, she was also suspended for one year.

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