Egypt’s information ministry has revoked the broadcast licence for Al Jazeera and told them to shut down their operation.
No reason has been given but it’s safe to assume it has something to do with the bureauu’s extensive reporting of the country’s near state of civil war. Al Jazeera’s footage from Egypt has been watched avidly by the Arab world. In particular, the regime will have been incensed by the interview broadcast yesterday with the cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is the figurehead for the Muslim Brotherhood movement. The Muslim Brotherhood has to date been a powerful force opposing president Hosni Mubarak’s government. In yesterday’s interview al-Qaradawi called for Mubarak to leave the country.
In a statement, the Qatar-based news company said: “Al Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists.”
Journalists have experienced rough treatment during the recent protests. Amongst others, the BBC’s Arabic reporter in Cairo was beaten with metal bars, and the Guardian’s Jack Shenker was assaulted, arrested, and driven out into the desert, and press freedom group the Committee to Protect Journalists said that seven journalists had been detained.