Egypt's Faraeen channel taken off air again

Ahram Online, Saturday 14 Sep 2013

Transmission halted on controversial satellite channel due to incendiary content, sources at Media Production City say

Egyptian television channel Faraeen, owned by controversial talk show host Tawfiq Okasha, was once again taken off the air on Saturday.

According to sources at Media Production City, the channel's transmission was halted because it served as a platform to "violate personal freedoms" and to make allegations that "affect the honor of many public figures," breaking the media honor oath, Al-Ahram's Arabic website reported.

The investment ministry will issue a statement explaining the reason behind Faraeen's closure on Sunday, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic website.

Okasha is infamous for his acid tongue, and his scathing attacks on select public figures are widely seen as inappropriate and illegal.

Egyptian authorities took the Faraeen channel off air in August 2012 for similar reasons.  It resumed transmission several weeks later.

Upon the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July, a number of Islamist channels have also been taken off air due to claims of "inciting violence."

Early this month, a Cairo court ordered that Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr cease transmission.  The Qatar-owned channel is perceived as biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails.

The administrative court ruling also banned Al-Yarmouk, Al-Quds and Ahrar 25, which are similarly regarded as Islamist-linked channels. 

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