Egypt closes Al Jazeera affiliate

Authorities say Mubasher Misr service spread rumours and operated without permit.

    Al Jazeera's Egyptian television channel is among four stations ordered to cease broadcasting by Egyptian authorities, which said they were operated illegally, the state news agency reported.

    Tuesday's court order follows a crackdown on television stations which are seen as being supportive of the deposed president, Mohammed Morsi, and his affiliated Muslim Brotherhood organisation.

    Government officials have called the broadcasts of Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr a national threat, saying it operated without a permit and accusing it of spreading rumours.

    The station extensively covered Brotherhood protests after the July 3 military coup that toppled Morsi.

    Al Jazeera has always denied taking sides and maintains its coverage is fair and balanced.

    On Monday, Egyptian authorities deported three members of a TV crew working for Al Jazeera English, the sister channel of Mubasher, after they were detained for nearly a week and accused of working illegally.

    The three other stations closed include a channel affiliated with the Palestinian group Hamas, a network based in Jordan and another affiliated with the Brotherhood.

    Al-Jazeera's local offices were raided after Morsi was deposed, and 28 staffers were detained. They were later released.

    However, two Mubasher journalists remain detained by Egyptian authorities.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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