Tags: Egypt Unrest | egypt | state | broadcasters | battle

Battle Intensifies Between Egyptian State and Broadcasters

Friday, 28 Jun 2013 03:11 AM


CAIRO — The owner of an Egyptian TV channel that satirizes Islamist president Mohammed Morsi was banned from leaving the country on Thursday, hours after Morsi attacked him by name, authorities shut down another channel, and a state TV anchor resigned on air.

"This is dictatorship," a lawyer for business tycoon Mohamed al-Amin told Reuters. Amin's CBC channel has had legal run-ins before over its ridicule of President Morsi on a hit satirical program modeled on American comic Jon Stewart's "Daily Show."

Stewart appeared in person just last week as a guest of Bassem Youssef, the host of the weekly broadcast, who himself has been investigated for insulting the president and Islam.

Separately, a judicial source said a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Tawfiq Okasha, a television talk-show host and owner of the private Al-Faraeen channel, which has frequently criticized Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.

The grounds for the investigation was spreading false information.

The investment ministry, in charge of giving licenses to private channels, announced later on its Facebook page the closure of Okasha's channel for insulting the army and police and inciting the army's lower-ranked officers to launch a coup against senior officers. The channel ceased broadcasting.

Known for his on-air diatribes against Islamists, Okasha has been at liberty to work pending an appeal against a four-month sentence handed down for insulting Morsi last year.

The channel was given a one-month suspension last year, a decision Okasha had successfully appealed.

Meanwhile, state TV anchor Gamal al-Shaer resigned dramatically on air in protest at what he said were attempts by Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud, of the Brotherhood, to control the program's guests and subjects.

"I apologize, as the administration of state TV has issued a decree to stop the program because the talk did not please the officials and the information minister," Shaer said.


In an address to the nation on Wednesday to defend himself against opponents who plan mass rallies this weekend, Morsi blamed loyalists of fallen dictator Hosni Mubarak for thwarting his first year in office.

He denounced several figures by name, including judges and owners of media organizations.

"Some dream of the return of the old regime, like Mohamed al-Amin," Morsi said. "They will not be left in peace until they pay what they owe the nation in taxes."

Hours later, Amin, who also owns anti-government newspaper Elwatan, called in to a CBC show to deny any wrongdoing.

State news agency MENA said prosecutors had blocked Amin's movements while it probed suspected tax arrears of about $60 million. Officials were not immediately available for comment.

His lawyer Mohamed Hammouda called the legal move an attempt to "get him and get the CBC channel and Elwatan newspaper and force them to bend to the president's will." He said he would seek to get the travel ban lifted and would sue Morsi for defamation.

"This is dictatorship of a kind Egypt has never seen before," lawyer Hammouda said. "And an attempt to get at rivals using force, and we do not accept that."

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Images of Shot Egypt Protester Revive Criticism of Police

Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 16:40 PM

CAIRO - Images of a slain protester, blood running down her face and hair as her body was lifted from the ground, have t . . .

At Least 15 Killed in Protests on Anniversary of Egypt Uprising

Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 12:46 PM

At least 15 people were killed in anti-government protests in Egypt on Sunday, the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that . . .

Libyan Extremist Group Says Leader al-Zahawi Has Been Killed

Saturday, 24 Jan 2015 14:55 PM

Benghazi-based extremist Islamic militant group Ansar al-Shariah said Saturday its leader Mohammed al-Zahawi has been ki . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved