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Religious channel shut down

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A court ruling called for the permanent closure of ultra-conservative Al-Hafez satellite channel

Al-Hafez Channel Logo

Al-Hafez Channel Logo

The Administrative Court ruled in favour of shutting down Islamist channel Al-Hafez in a Monday hearing, according to state-owned Al-Ahram. The ruling cannot be appealed.

The lawsuit had been filed by comedian Hany Ramzy against the Minister of Investment, the Chairman of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, the Minister of Information to stop the broadcasting of Al-Hafez satellite channel and to cease issuing licences.

Al-Hafez, along with other channels that supported the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Mohamed Morsi, was shut down on 3 July following the announcement of Morsi’s ouster.

The owner of the channel, Atef Abdel Rashid, was briefly detained following the closure of the channel, along with some of his employees and those working for other channels.

Al-Hafez was no stranger to legal problems. Presenter Abdallah Badr was handed a fine of EGP 20,000 and a one year sentence for libel against actress Elham Shahin. His programme was suspended and he was temporarily banned from making television appearances. Abdel Rashid was also temporarily banned from appearing on his channel.

Earlier this year Mahmoud Shaaban issued a fatwa on the air, urging the killing of leaders of the National Salvation Front. Al-Azhar’s Islamic Research Academy denounced the fatwa, as did the presidency.

Channels including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Misr 25 and Al-Nas, which is also owned by Abdel Rashid, have not been permitted to continue broadcasting since they were shut down in July. Groups calling for Morsi to return have also demanded that these channels be allowed to continue broadcasting.

 


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