Egypt temporarily suspends LTC channel's broadcasting rights over homosexual appearance, other breaches

Menna Alaa El-Din , Tuesday 4 Sep 2018

Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation member Makram mohamed Ahmed (Al-Ahram)
Makram Mohamed Ahmed, head of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) said on Monday that it is suspending broadcasting rights of a privately owned TV channel for two weeks over "professional violations", including hosting homosexuals and other breaches.

In an official statement, the SCMR said it decided to suspend the broadcasting rights of the LTC channel for two weeks after the council received several complaints against the channel as well as violations observed by the monitoring committee.

According to the SCMR, the channel violated a 2017 decision by the council to ban "homosexuals and their slogans" in TV shows, as well as a decision to not libel figures and promote concepts and habits of heroin use.

It added that the council will monitor the channel’s shows after broadcasting rights are reinstated, stressing that more punishments would be enforced if the violations continue.

The channel, which has not had wide viewership since its launch in 2014, is at risk of a broadcast ban following the SCMR’s final warning, according to the statement.

Formed in 2016 after a decree by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the SCMR identifies itself as an authority authorised with "protecting rights, opinion, and expression, as well as ensuring the independence of the media in accordance with the constitution and the law."

According to the council’s website, the council grants licences for print and visual media and sets criteria for the assessment of the media's performance. 

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