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Journalist's TV show taken off the air

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 13 February 2012 - ANHRI condemns the administration board of Tahrir TV for preventing media professional Dina Abdel-Rahman from presenting her daily show “al-Yawm” (Today) on 11 February 2012. The show was abruptly and inexplicably halted, yet later Tahrir TV issued a statement alleging that the show was halted due to show contract disputes. Abdel-Rahman and one of the show's editors said that the dispute was due to the board's desire to modify the contract so it can intervene in the editorial policies of the show. The old contract does not allow the board's intervention in the show's editorial policies. The whole dispute took place after Abdel-Rahman had presented the Kazeboon (Liars) campaign that exposes the Military Council's violations of human rights.

Abdel-Rahman was present in the channel's office at 9pm on 11 February 2012, which is the time that her daily show usually broadcasts. However, she was surprised to learn that she was prevented from presenting her show by the channel's board, and found another show broadcasting instead of hers. Even though no prior warning had been given, the board justified its action by changing the program map for the channel. TAbdel-Rahman filed an official police report at the al-Haram police station against Sulaiman Amer, owner of the channel; Mostafa Hussein, director; and Mohamed al-Barghouthy, programs director.

It is worth noting that Abdel-Rahman had been dismissed by Dream TV's administration board because of her impartiality in addressing the Abbasiya events, and her presentation of an article critical of the Military Council during the press section of Dream TV's morning show. Accordingly, she left Dream TV and started working with Tahrir TV.

ANHRI notes that there are several media professionals who have left Tahrir TV due to the change of its editorial policies. Most recently, the prominent media professional Hamdy Qandil left after Sulaiman Amer bought the channel.

“What is happening now in Tahrir TV is a repetition of the scenario of Dostour newspaper in 2010, while Mubarak was still president. Sayed al-Badawy bought the newspaper then dismissed Ebrahim Eissa and the editorial team so as to change the editorial policies of the newspaper that was known for its strong opposition to the authorities. As this attempt succeeded, it is happening all over again following the success of the 25 January revolution. Tahrir TV was established to become the voice and supporter of the Egyptian revolution. However, Sulaiman Amer eventually bought the channel amid reports that he came to change the editorial policies of the channel in favor of special interests with the authorities,” said ANHRI.

“The repetition of this scenario with Tahrir TV, which resulted in the prevention of Dina Abdel-Rahman from presenting her show, demonstrates the need of the Egyptian media for an independent body or council to reform the media in Egypt, putting in place a set of legislative reforms that would prevent businessmen and owners of channels from intervening in the editorial policy. Such reforms would ensure that owners of capitals cannot control the media industry or monopolize private media outlets the way the government controls state media,” added ANHRI.
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