Lawsuits, complaints lead PA to cut satirical TV series
LAST UPDATED: 08/17/2011 14:31
Palestinian prosecutor-general tells Ma'an 'Watan ala Watar' (Nation on a String) crosses "red lines"; producer cries violation of democracy.
TV Photo: Thinkstock/Imagebank
The Palestinian prosecutor-general announced Tuesday night that the satirical television series Watan ala Watar (Homeland
on a String) will no longer air on the Palestinian Authority-run
Palestine TV channel.
Prosecutor-General Ahmad Al-Mughni told Palestinian news channel Ma'an that the decision was
made because the show, broadcast during Ramadan, "is full of mistakes" and "meaningless," adding
that it had crossed "red lines" in its impersonations of Palestinian
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"There are people and personalities that can't be imitated in any way," Ma'an quoted Mughni as saying.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) board and a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization, described the decision as a "dangerous precedent in the history of the Palestinian Authority".
"The prosecutor-general has appointed himself as the one responsible for artistic works, becoming 'the artistic authority' in the country," he told Al-Ayyam newspaper.
"We are facing a great disaster which violates the most basic of freedoms."
He said an appeal would be lodged against the decision.
The beleaguered Watan ala Wara is no stranger to controversy, and the official television station became legally liable for offensive episodes broadcast during Ramadan.
Authority police commanders sued the station itself after an episode
aired which seemed to show police officers drunk.
spokesman for the PA security forces, complained that the episode, which
is being aired during the holy month of Ramadan, depicted the policemen
as “vulgar and common," adding "This is degrading for the policemen.”
support criticism and freedom of expression, but only in a positive
way,” Damiri was quoted by the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper as
The deputy head of the Physicians Union, Shawki Sabha, also said that
his union had filed a complaint with the prosecutor-general against
Palestine TV for airing the satire.
Sabha said that the union has determined that one of the recent satire
shows had humiliated Palestinian physicians working in hospitals. He
said that the union was also suing the station for libel.
For the last three years, "A Nation on a String" has been broadcast during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, when families traditionally gather to watch drama series and other TV shows after breaking fast at sundown.