Egyptian state TV suspends presenter over political views

Egyptian talk show host suspended from state owned channel over political commentary regarding Arab coalition air strikes in Yemen

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Egyptian presenter and talk show host Abeer El Fakharani was suspended indefinitely following an episode she presented on April 4th on Delta TV criticizing Saudi Arabian foreign policy regarding Yemen.

El Fakharani said she was noticed of her suspension last Tuesday when she was in Al Munufeya governorate, recording an interview with its governor.

She said the decision of her suspension was taken before her trip to Munufeya, Meanwhile, Delta TV director Mohammed Hilal waited until she was done with her assignment to let her know she won’t be coming to work the next morning, as he feared she would cancel the interview she prepared for with the governor of Munufeya, according to Al Shorouk news website.

The Delta TV administration denied to have waited until she was done with the governor interview to inform her of the suspension, claiming the interview was prerecorded days ago.

“The TV director suspended me with no words of investigation even though to the media he would conduct an investigation. He fired me because he was scared a high government official would come and ask him about me, now he has a comforting answer, she’s fired,” said El Fakharani. She said her talk show Sabah Al Mahrusa did not present her personal opinion of the Arab Coalition, but the program only provided room for opposing points. A normal debate over a certain matter with pros and cons were involved, no direct or uncalled criticism of Saudi Arabian approach in Yemen was said.

The TV presenter also added that suspending media men and silencing voices is one of the reasons why the January 25 revolution erupted. She believes her case is now in the hands of the president himself, and the prime minister too.

El Fakharani stated that Egyptian President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi should know of this, and that he should know what kind of media operates under his administration, saying “some people working in the Egyptian media are blindly parroting things, they don’t understand in an attempt to be supportive of the government over the expense of ethical implications and objectivity.”

Egypt is now run by military coup government after witnessing its second military coup in July 2013, the first one was in July 1952. Current president and former army general Abdul Fattah el-Sisi’s rise to power was after the military ouster of civilian elected president Mohamed Morsi.

Under the coup administration numerous Human Rights violations took place, most prominent of which is the dispersal of Rabaa and Nahda squares in Cairo, location of the Muslim Brotherhood supporters sit-in, the group to which Egypt’s first civilian democratically elected president belongs to.

The Rabaa and Nahda massacre was named the bloodiest sit-in dispersal in the history of mankind by the Human Rights Watch, claiming the lives of over 1,000 protesters and injuring and arresting thousands of MB supporters, many of which are still waiting for trial of already been given “Unfair and politically mediated” sentences, according to the HRW.
Many TV channels were shut down as well, most of which in support of Morsi rule and/or calling for his reappointment.

TRTWorld and agencies