Iranian TV Channel raided by Egyptian security forces
Satellite image of Iran in January 2004. (Screenshot from NASA World Wind, Blue Marble Next-Generation layer)
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Cairo: Security forces on Saturday evening raided the office of Iranian Arabic-language television channel Al Alalam in Cairo and detained its director, Ahmad Al Siyoufi for questioning.
According to a report on the website of Al Alalam, security forces have also confiscated the Channel’s equipment without giving any explanations.
Egypt’s state news agency, Mena, attributed the move to an unspecified contractual breach.
Al Alalam Cairo office was also raided and damaged during the rule of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
“About 20 policemen, not in uniform, raided our office in Cairo, searched everything and took all the tapes and technical equipment, accusing the office of running without licence,” said Mohammad Amin, Al Alalam’s correspondent in Cairo.
An informed source told Gulf News that “the Egyptians were likely fed up with the Iranian propaganda and have decided to close it”.
The security forces belong to a police department for control over art and media work, said Amin, noting they dealt appropriately with Al Alalam staff but they insisted to shut down the office for lacking a legal license.
Iran criticised the military procedures that ousted Mursi as “unacceptable and disturbing,” but later on, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi urged Egyptian political groups for national unity and voiced respect for the “choice made by the Egyptian people”.