Religious channels go off air and employees arrested

Islamist channels Misr 25, Al-Nas and Al-Hafez went off air immediately after the address by Defence Minister Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi ended and at least six employees of the Muslim Brotherhood-owned Misr 25 channel were arrested while the speech was still being broadcast.

Abeer al-Saady a member of the Journalists’ Syndicate said that she received a call from Ahmed Abdel Gawad, a Misr 25 reporter, at 9.45 pm, not long after the end of Sisi’s speech.

“He told me that he and five other employees of the channel were in a police truck and being taken to an unknown location,” Abdel-Gawad said.

Zeyad Salem, a producer with the Baladna Bel Masry programme broadcast on the ONtv satellite channel said that police forces that have been stationed in the Media Production City in 6th of October that hosts the majority of Egyptian satellite channels stormed the studios of Misr 25 and other religious channels.

Salem said that Misr 25 presenter Nour Eddin Abdel Hafez, popularly known as Khamees, had been arrested.

The offices of Al-Jazeera’s Egyptian station, Al-Jazeera Mubashir, were also raided, and its director and several employees arrested. By the early hours of the morning, all except the director were released. The station remains on air.