Monday, February 26, 2007

Egypt stops broadcasting al-Zawra, but Arab-Sat feed into Iraq continues

Egypt has stopped the transmission of a private Iraqi TV station which glorifies the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.

The United States has privately asked the Egyptian authorities to stop al-Zawraa which is carried on Nilesat - a government-owned TV satellite.

Al-Zawraa broadcasts from a secret location. Its owner is a former Iraqi MP who now lives in Syria.

Nilesat says it was taken off air because it broadcast on frequencies which interfered with other channels.

Not so, says Mishan al-Jaburi, the owner of al-Zawraa. He says political reasons were behind the Egyptian decision.

He accused Egypt of bowing to American pressure to stop carrying al-Zawraa.

The channel shows footage of attacks by Sunni groups against US and Iraqi forces.

It also shows images of bloody and mutilated bodies of women and children which it identifies as Sunnis killed by US soldiers and Shia militiamen.

The Iraqi authorities shut down al-Zawraa's offices in Baghdad last November, accusing it of inciting hatred and instigating violence, but Mr Jaburi said his channel condemned equally all attacks against civilians.

He accused Iraqi government channels of promoting sectarianism.

Al-Zawraa is still being carried by Arab Sat, which is jointly owned by all Arab countries.

Read the rest at the BBC

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