The Egyptian Police Cancels the Videotaping of some of the Programs of the American Satellite Channe
The Egyptian Police Cancels the Videotaping of some of the Programs of the American Satellite Channe
Saturday, August 30,2008 04:31

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) reported today that the Egyptian authorities ordered the cancellation of the videotaping of two Programs for the American Satellite channel “Al-Hura” just few hours before their shooting without justification, and inspite of their 4 weeks agreement with the company.


Some of the young Egyptian activists, from the opposition parties as well as from the National Democratic Party, had received a phone call yesterday at noon informing them of the cancellation of the program (Eye on Democracy), which was destined for shooting the day before in the afternoon, inspite of the agreement for made for this purpose, and also inspite of the time and place confirmation they had received the day before.


The same thing has been repeated with another group of creative youth, who support democracy, and who were invited for shooting another episode of the same program; they were similarly informed of the cancellation of the videotaping just four hours before and were not given any good reason except “Refusal according to authorities’ orders”.


Noura Younis, a political activist and one of the guests of the canceled program, said that Three weeks ago, in Washington, she has been contacted by Al-Hura channel to participate in the program “Eye on Democracy”, which was agreed to be shot on August the 27th; And the Cairo Video Sat. company called her to confirm the program shooting time a day earlier, however yesterday, four hours before shooting, some person from the same company called her to apologize due to the cancellation of the program also according to security orders.


The two programs which were canceled revolved around:

The First: The youth of the Egyptian parties and their view of democracy and change “In partnership with opposition parties and the ruling National Democratic Party in Egypt”.

The Second: The creative youths’ tools “Poets, artists, writers, and authors” to support democracy.


The ANHRI commented “the situation in Egypt has become very dangerous, having the satellite channels under the control of the authorities and the Media Minister-Anas Al Fiqi- both of which oppose the principle of the freedom of expression, and both of which are competing on demolishing the citizen rights in an independent media”.


It is important to mention that three of the five most well-known media services companies have suffered from the security restrictions in the past few months. For example the CNC (Cairo News Company) had its equipments confiscated, and both companies of Cairo Sat and the Arab News Agency have been put under extreme bowdlerization and were threatened to reach the same dead end like their equal, Cairo News Company; Nothing was left except for the two companies Swatel and the Al-Khurafi, to serve the other satellite channels. In case they get threatened too, this will mean the absence of any live, direct, and objective coverage for the Egyptian Satellite channels.


Mr. Gamal Eid, the Executive Director for the ANHRI said that the authorities and the Media Minister, both are moving anti-clock wise, and neither the Independent Media, nor the civil society will accept isolating Egypt behind iron bars. The restriction on Al-Hura channel is considered one in a series of control and suppression, for many other channels have been through the same process such as “Al-Baraka, Al-Hekma, Al-Wozara & Al-Hewar”, they were all shut down, adding to this the various aggravation, to which Al-Jazeera channel has been exposed. Eid added that the authorities would not consider justifying their cancellation, and accordingly the satellite channels got used to censorship as a normal thing, however we do insist on our right in a free media from police censorship, a media serving the citizen and not the government.