A leading Arab satellite operator cut transmission of Hezbollah’s television channel Al-Manar on Wednesday amid rising tensions between the Lebanese Shiite group’s backer Iran and the rest of the Muslim world.
In a statement distributed to journalists, Hezbollah “sharply condemned” the move.
Officials at both Al-Manar and Cairo-based Nilesat confirmed the transmission had been cut over accusations the channel violated its contract by airing programs promoting sectarian divisions.
“This is a political decision, not an industry decision. Al-Manar has nothing to do with sectarian strife,” the channel’s general manager Ibrahim Farhat told AFP, calling the move “unjust and arbitrary.”
“This is part of the political problem in the region, that they’re taking out on the media,” Farhat said. Asked about the decision to cut Al-Manar’s transmission, a senior Nilesat official said channels “must abide by not airing any violent or racist content, or provoking sectarian strife.”
“No other channels have violated the contract,” he told AFP, in response to a question on whether any other Lebanese channels would be affected.
Al-Manar said on Twitter that it could still be watched via a Russian satellite or online.
Source: Arab News