Egyptian authorities crack down on satellite channels

The Information Ministry on Sunday launched a campaign in cooperation with the Interior Ministry's censorship department to check the permits of 16 satellite channels broadcasting from Egypt.

Informed sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the office of Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, which began transmission following the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in February, was raided by Egyptian authorities.

According to Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr’s news bar, one of the channel’s broadcast engineers was arrested and a piece of equipment confiscated.

Information Minister Osama Heikal on Wednesday announced that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the cabinet decided after a joint meeting that day to temporarily suspend granting new permits to satellite channels.

Participants in the meeting also decided to prosecute satellite channels deemed threatening to the stability of the country.

Egyptian rights organizations meanwhile condemned the decision, saying it is a regression to the oppressive policies of Mubarak's regime.

The April 6 Youth Movement threatened to take legal action against the decisions.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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