Egypt Closes Offices of Al Jazeera Television, Disrupts Signal on Nilesat

Al Jazeera Network, a television broadcaster based in Qatar, said Egypt closed its offices in the North African country and withdrew the accreditation of its reporters.

"The closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people," the Doha-based network said in an e-mailed statement today. The network also said its signal on Egypt’s NileSat satellite was disrupted.

Egyptian authorities restricted Internet and mobile-phone access after demonstrations erupted in the country on Jan. 25 with protesters demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Al Arabiya TV of the United Arab Emirates resumed broadcasts from Egypt after it said authorities ordered the station to stop live coverage.

Al Jazeera’s broadcasts have sometimes angered Arab governments. Kuwait in December ordered Al Jazeera to close its local office and revoked its license after the channel covered a crackdown on an opposition rally. Bahrain shut Al Jazeera’s office last May after a naval clash between the island country and neighboring Qatar.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Tuttle in Doha at rtuttle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net

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