CAIRO: The closure of a satellite channel by satellite operator Nilesat is a “flagrant violation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression”, an Egyptian NGO says.
Last Friday, Nilesat halted transmission of the Egyptian-Jordanian Al-Badr satellite channel that covered religious and social topics, according to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR).
In a statement to Al-Jazeera, a Nilesat official said that Al-Badr has “recently violated many of the terms and conditions governing transmission of its programme”, which Al-Jazeera suggests is a reference to the channel’s hosting of religious clerics who criticised the Egyptian Coptic Church after a member of its top echelons described Muslim Egyptians as “guests of Copts in Egypt”.
EOHR head Hafez Abu Seada says in a statement issued Sunday that in halting transmission of Al-Badr, Nilesat is usurping the powers of the General Investment Authority, the only body with the jurisdiction to suspend transmission of a satellite channel.
“A decision to halt transmission of a satellite channel must be the result of an investigation by the General Investment Authority, the only body with jurisdiction to end a contract between Nilesat and a satellite channel,” Abu Seada is quoted as saying in the statement.