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Egypt: Update on Christian broadcaster harassed by government

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(Middle East Concern) On 12th October Middle East Concern requested prayer for the Christian satellite TV broadcaster SAT-7, after legal proceedings were initiated by the Egyptian government targeting SAT-7’s operations in Egypt.

On Wednesday 17th February SAT-7 Egypt Director Farid Samir received official confirmation that the case against him had been closed and all charges had been dropped. On 28th January cameras and other equipment which had been confiscated by the authorities were returned to SAT-7.

On 10th October officers from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s Censorship Department came to SAT-7’s Egypt studios. The officers presented a search warrant and proceeded to confiscate equipment. They took Mr Samir to the local police station. The police agreed to release Mr Samir following the intervention of Egyptian church leaders.

During a two-hour hearing on 11th October charges were brought against Mr Samir relating to incorrect registration of a TV channel, failure to hold licences for certain editing activities and failure to comply with regulations concerning live streaming of broadcasts on the internet. Mr Samir and the lawyers acting on SAT-7’s behalf refuted these charges. It was demonstrated that the Censorship Department’s report contained factual errors and evidence was presented to confirm that SAT-7’s registration and licences are in good order.

Those close to SAT-7 are grateful for the prayers and support of many around the world. They ask us to:
a. praise God for the return of the equipment, the closing of the case against Mr Samir and the dropping of all charges
b. pray that the SAT-7 team will be able to resume their normal activities
c. pray that SAT-7 will face no further problems with the Egyptian authorities

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