Authorities suspend Al Jazeera’s Mubasher Misr transmission

Al Jazeera's live news channel in Egypt, Mubasher Misr, said on Sunday that Egyptian authorities have confiscated broadcasting equipment from them and arrested one of their broadcast engineers.

On Twitter, the channel said Egyptian authorities have stopped transmitting from Egypt and is now broadcasting from Qatar.

Ahmed Zein, the head of the channel's office, told reporters that the office submitted a request to renew its broadcasting permit four months ago but was told to continue broadcasting as usual.

Egyptian authorities said they would renew the channel’s permits as soon as possible and then suddenly raided the office on Sunday, he added.

Islam Lotfy, the channel's lawyer, described the decision to suspend Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr as a "foolish political decision".

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.

This lead to a raid on the office of Al Jazeera Mubasher Masr, which began transmission following the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in February.

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

They also decided to prosecute satellite channels deemed threatening to the stability of the country.

Egyptian rights organizations 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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