The Egyptian-owned provider attributed its decision to stop airing Al Manar on its satellite services to the channel’s programmes, which it described as “fomenting sectarian tension and strife,” the Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) reported.
Nilesat also notified the Lebanese Ministry of Telecommunications that it was stopping broadcasting from the government earth station in Jouret Al Ballout starting Wednesday afternoon, “as the contract with the Lebanese state has expired since 2015.”
Several Lebanese TV channels, including TeleLiban, Al Jadeed, and NBN, that are broadcast by Nilesat are expected to be taken off air on the Egyptian provider.
“The Telecoms minister and I are trying to address the issue with the Nilesat administration and the relevant authorities in Egypt,” Lebanese Information Minister Ramzi Joreige was quoted as saying by local media
“The Nilesat’s administration says that it was because the license given to them was not renewed. We informed them that we are in the process of renewing it, but because the cabinet did not meet, it could not be renewed,” Joreige said.
Al Manar started its terrestrial broadcasting from Beirut in 1991 and began broadcasting via satellite in 2000. It has often waded into controversy in several Western countries where it was banned.
The decision to stop Hezbollah’s media arm from broadcasting on Nilesat is the latest action against the Lebanese group that was last month classified as terrorist by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and by the Arab League.
At their meeting on March 8 in the Saudi capital Riyadh, the information ministers of the GCC countries agreed to take “all legal measures to block any deals with channels affiliated to Hezbollah militias or its leaders, factions and subsidiaries.”
The ministers in a statement considered Hezbollah “a terrorist organisation that seeks to stir strife and incite chaos and violence in stark violation of the sovereignty of a number of Arab countries and in contravention of heavenly religions, international law, ethical values and humanitarian principles.”
The ministers said that legal measures would apply to all production companies, producers and all media-related content relevant to Hezbollah.
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