State TV denies reports of ban on actress’s works


State TV denied news reports saying that films and series featuring actress Elham Shaheen had been banned from TV or radio broadcasts.

“This is completely untrue. It only seeks to create division in Egypt. TV channels have a schedule for programs, [the times of which] are set in advance,” said Ali Abdel Rahman, head of the specialized satellite channels sector.

Abdel Rahman added that Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud hadn’t given verbal or written instructions banning her works, adding that the TV channels were accustomed to such “false” news reports that were later refuted.

The Kuwaiti Al-Rai newspaper reported Monday that Abdel Maqsoud had secretly given verbal orders to the heads of the Egyptian Radio and TV Union’s sectors to ban the broadcast of series and movies by Shaheen.

According to the paper, the decision, which astonished the sectors’ heads, did not officially have a reason. However, they speculated that the decision may have been a result of the conflict Shaheen and Islamists, as well as the case of the Salafi preacher Abdallah Badr, who is accused of defaming Shaheen.

Al-Zawya al-Hamra Misdemeanor Court will review Tuesday a lawsuit filed by Shaheen against Badr for defaming her during his show on the satellite channel Al-Hafez.

She said the same incidents happened with the Lebanese singer Haifa Wahbe, who divorced an Egyptian businessman for his alleged business ties with Islamists.

Edited translation from MENA

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