MP Okasha suspended from TV for 6 months: Media Free Zone

Ahram Online , Monday 28 Dec 2015

The Media Free Zone administration says the controversial parliamentarian and TV host violated media freedoms

Tawfik Okasha (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's Media Free Zone's administration suspended controversial parliamentarian and TV host Tawfik Okasha's show on his channel Al-Faraeen for six months on Monday.

The Media Free zone administration also banned Okasha from appearing on any TV channel for six months for committing "violations against media freedoms."

The ban will be temporary until a media charter is issued to organise media in Egypt. 

The decision to ban the recently elected parliamentarian came hours after he made statements during a TV interview on the privately owned ONTV channel, where he accused all the Egyptian security apparatuses of “working against the country's interests and working for their own narrow ideas.”

He also criticised the current Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghafer.

Okasha has claimed that he asked for political asylum at the German embassy in Cairo.

The independent MP caused controversy in the media recently when he accused the current authorities of trying to create a one-party rule, saying they wanted to “clone the models of the [Nasser era] Arab Socialist Union.”

Okasha's criticism came after security prevented him and a number of parliamentarians from holding a meeting in the House of Representatives headquarters to form a parliamentary block for independents 

Okasha won the highest number of votes among independent candidates in his electoral constituency of Talkha and Nebaroh in Egypt's Daqahliya governorate, with over 90,000 votes.

Known for his offensive language and penchant for conspiracy theories as well as his opposition to the 2011 revolution, and the Muslim Brotherhood, Okasha has been stirring controversy with his political views for years.

The Media Free Zone administration is part of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) that is the sole entity responsible for giving broadcasting permits. It has the power to stop the broadcast of a programme on Egypt's NileSat satellite channels from its studios in the Media city in Cairo's 6th of October City.

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