State’s T.V. chief fired after call for protest against Red Sea islands deal
Maspero - Youm7 Archive

CAIRO: Egypt’s Cabinet fired head of Maspero, the headquarters of Egyptian Radio and Television, Essam al-Amir Saturday evening, and appointed Safaa Hegazy, the first woman to assume this position, as his successor, Cabinet spokesperson Hossam Gawish said in a statement.

The statement did not mention the reasons of the sacking. However, Maspero witnessed a state of confusion three days ago after a T.V. presenter, called Heba Ezz al-Arab, from state-owned Channel Cairo called the people to take streets against President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi over handover of two disputed islands to Saudi Arabia.

In her talk show “Revolutionaries Forever,” Ezz al-Arab hosted Socialist Popular Alliance Party Chairperson deputy Medhat Zaher who spoke about Monday protests that were scheduled to be staged outside the Cabinet and the Parliament headquarters. T.V. Channel chairperson Mohey Saad was also fired over this episode, al-Bedaiah reported

In mid-April, Egypt has announced that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir are Saudi territories; both sides reached an agreement, per which Egypt relinquished control of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, located at the entrance of Al-Aqaba Gulf in the Red Sea.

The treaty between both countries ignited the Egyptian public’s anger and prompted criticism against the government, and thousands of people protested on April 15 against the decision outside the Journalists’ Syndicate. Some called for a public referendum on whether to cede them.

Two days ago, Egyptian Presidency issued a statement slamming private newspaper of al-Shorouk over publishing a story saying that Sisi had met in the past few days with his top security aides, “expressing his anger” at April 15 protests and emphasizing he “would not accept” such protests to occur again.

In November 2015, another anchor at the state-owned TV, Azza al-Hennawy, was suspended Monday after she demanded that state officials, including President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, be held accountable for any failure.

In a speech in a cultural symposium for the Armed Forces on Nov. 2, President Sisi criticized the media after he was slammed over rainwater inundated large areas of Alexandria where at least five people were killed in weather-related accidents.

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