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Governement shuts down TV station

(EOHR/IFEX) - The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its condemnation on closing the transmission of El Badr channel by the Egyptian government. It considers this act to be a violation of the right to freedom of expression and opinion, which is guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution and International Convention of Human Rights.

On 1 October 2010, the Egyptian satellite company Nilesat shut down the transmission of El Badr channel and thus violated the previously agreed-upon terms and conditions. The director of the station said that the only authority that has the right to take this decision is the General Authority for Investment in cases where a dispute arises over possible violations of the terms and conditions.

EOHR clarifies that it considers such decision to be a violation of freedom of expression and opinion. EOHR calls on the Egyptian Authority to abolish the aforementioned decision since it violates the rights that are guaranteed by international human rights conventions, such as article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the Egyptian Constitution. EOHR calls for suspension of all forms of confiscation and for respect for freedom of expression and opinion. It also confirms that these procedures degrade the status of human rights in Egypt.

Hafez Abu Seada, the chairman of EOHR, calls on Nilesat officials to explain the reasons for shutting down the transmission of El Badr channel and for the General Authority for Investment to investigate the incident. The General Authority for Investment sets up standards that must be observed by any channel and if the standards are violated, it has the right to stop the channel's transmission.

Hafez Abu Seada also stressed the necessity of restoring the channel's broadcasting and putting a stop to the harassment of satellite channels, which endangers freedom of expression and opinion.

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