Thursday, September 29, 2011

Egypt: Authorities raid & close Al Jazeera's office in Cairo

Ahram Online
Egyptian authorities raid and close one of Al Jazeera's offices in Cairo

Sunday 11 Sept. 2011

Dina Samak

National security police raided Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr office in Cairo early Sunday afternoon, according to sources inside the office.

Al Jazeera journalists - which rent the office, equipment and studio in Giza - say that they did not receive any legal notice from the ministry of information.

According to Mahmoud Abdel Moniem, the channel's news editor, the authorities have arrested a member of the channel's technical team and are questioning those in charge of both Al Jazeera team and the service provider whom they rent from.

The channel stopped broadcasting immediately.

Media reports mentioned that the government has started an inspection operation on the legal accreditation of 16 TV news channels that started functioning in Egypt after the ouster of president Mubarak in February.

Sources close to Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr admitted to Ahram Online that, indeed, the channel has been working without any accreditation throughout the past seven months, but, then again, when they tried to get the required permits they didn't receive an answer.

The minister of information announced last week that the government will suspend issuing new licenses to satellite television stations and that the Cabinet will start legal procedures to review licenses it issued to any satellite television network that "incites violence and protests."

Aljazeera Mubasher Misr broadcasted - live - most of the major protests that Egypt witnessed since the ouster of Mubarak.

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