JNN 4th Sept 2013 Cairo : An Egyptian military court on Tuesday sentenced 11 Muslim Brotherhood members to life in prison for violence targeting the army in the port city of Suez last month. And also ordered closure of four Television Channels .
Forty-five other Brotherhood members were handed five-year jail terms, and eight defendants were acquitted.
The Islamists were accused of “shooting and adopting violent means” against the army in Suez on August 14 following a military crackdown in the streets of Cairo against supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi
Morsi belonged to the Brotherhood movement.
The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 and formally dissolved by Egypt’s army rulers in 1954.
The Brotherhood operated for decades as a formally outlawed organisation until veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was deposed in 2011.
The movement then won a series of elections culminating in last year’s presidential vote.
The military deposed Morsi on July 3 after mass protests against his rule.
Since then, most of the Brotherhood’s top leadership has been arrested and face charges of inciting violence. Morsi was himself referred to trial on Sunday on that charge.
A Cairo court also ordered the closure of four television channels in Tuesday, including Al-Jazeera Egypt and Ahrar 25, a network belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The other two channels to be closed are the Brotherhood affiliated broadcasters Al-Yarmuk and Al-Quds, according to the court order.
The closure comes a day after broadcaster Al-Hafez, also lined with Brotherhood, was ordered shut following accusations that it was “inciting hatred” against Coptic Christians and “undermining national unity”.
Ahrar 25 was among several other networks that went off air soon after ouster of Morsi.
Egyptian authorities say that they have deported three members of a TV crew working for the English-language version of Qatar-based news broadcaster Al-Jazeera, after they were detained for nearly a week and accused of working illegally.
An official at the airport says Al-Jazeera English correspondent Wayne Hay, cameraman Adil Bradlow and producer Russ Finn left Cairo for London on Sunday.
The three were detained Tuesday with an Egyptian colleague while covering events in Egypt.
The official said they were deported for working in Egypt without a permit or license to use satellite transmitters. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr Executive Producer Shihab Elddin Shaarawi, was also arrested early on Friday morning by security forces who kept denying his detonation until Sunday when they confirmed that he has been arrested.
Last week, Egypt’s interim government called Al-Jazeera’s local Arabic language channel a threat to national security and ordered it clos
Egypt deported three Al Jazeera journalists on Sunday, days after the Qatari-owned channel carried appeals from leaders of ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood to stage protests against the army-backed government.
The Qatari Gulf emirate a strong US Ally was a strong financial backer of Brotherhood rule and vehemently opposes the army’s overthrow of Morsi and the ensuing bloody crackdown on his movement.
Al Jazeera’s offices in Cairo have been closed since July 3, when they were raided by security forces hours after Morsi was toppled, although the channel, broadcast from Qatar, can still be seen in Egypt.
Security officials at Cairo airport, declining to be named, said Wayne Hay, Adil Bradlow and Russ Finn had been put on an Egyptian plane headed for London, after being forced to leave their equipment behind.
The men had been held since Tuesday. An Al Jazeera spokesman said they had been released and left Egypt without being given a reason for their detention.
The station also said that Shihab Elddin Shaarawi, an executive producer for Al Jazeera’s Egyptian channel, had been arrested on Friday morning but later released.
The channel’s cameraman Mohamed Badr was detained a month ago and Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Abdullah al-Shami was arrested on Aug. 14.
Both are still in detention, but producer Mohammed Baher was freed on Sunday after being held for five days.
Last week, Al Jazeera aired statements from two Brotherhood leaders who had eluded a wave of arrests, Mohamed El-Beltagi and Essam El-Erian, that included a call to join protests against Egypt’s military-backed interim government. Beltagi has since been caught.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Egypt’s government was widening a “censorship campaign”, adding that its research showed that four other journalists were in custody.
“Egyptian security forces continue to detain and harass journalists working for news outlets critical of the military-led government, particularly Al Jazeera and its affiliates,” it said last week.
On Thursday, the government said that Al Jazeera Mubashir Misr, the broadcaster’s Egyptian channel, was operating without a license and that unspecified legal measures would follow, “given the threat it poses to national security”.
Ayman Gaballah, the head of the channel, said the accusations were fabricated.