Egypt bans Al-Jazeera affiliate

Egypt bans Al-Jazeera affiliate

CAIRO – The Associated Press
Egypt bans Al-Jazeera affiliate

The Al Jazeera logo is seen in the new Al Jazeera America television broadcast studio on West 34th Street August 16, 2013 in New York as Paul Eedle (R), Deputy Launch Manager for Programing speaks to media during a tour. Al Jazeera America, which will launch on August 20, will have its headquarters in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA

An Egyptian court ordered Sept.3 Al-Jazeera’s local affiliate to stop broadcasting along with three other stations known for their coverage of Islamist protests, saying that they had operated illegally, the state news agency said.

The decision by the administrative court was expected amid an escalating campaign by the government against the TV station and other media it considers sympathetic to ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood group.

Last week, three government ministries issued a statement calling the broadcasts of Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr a “national threat” and accusing it of spreading rumors. They said that the station would soon be ordered closed.

The ministers also said the channel used satellite transmission without a license and spread “rumors and claims which are harmful to Egyptian national security and threaten the country’s unity.” The station extensively covered Brotherhood protests following the July 3 military coup that ousted Morsi. Egyptian officials and media say the station is biased toward the Brotherhood, a charge Al-Jazeera denies.

The three other stations include a channel affiliated with Hamas, the Islamist group ruling the Gaza Strip, and an Islamist network based in Jordan. The third station, Ahrar 25, is affiliated with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and sprung up after authorities shut down their licensed Misr 25 television channel and four Islamic TV networks sympathetic to the deposed president on the day he was ousted.