Bahrain-based satellite channel off-air a day after starting

By REUTERS
February 2, 2015 16:25

 
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MANAMA- Bahraini authorities have suspended a television channel owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one day after its launch, following an interview it broadcast with an aide to a Bahraini opposition leader.

Alarab channel blamed technical and administrative reasons for Monday's halt, without giving details. But a Bahraini newspaper and a source familiar with the matter said the channel had been suspended for violating media neutrality.

The website of privately-owned Akhbar al-Khaleej newspaper said the suspension was "related to the failure of those in charge to abide by the prevailing norms in the Gulf, including the neutrality of media positions and staying away from anything that could negatively impact the spirit of Gulf unity."

That appeared to refer to the interview with Marzouq, an aide to Sheik Ali Salman, the detained Secretary-General of Bahrain's main Shi'ite opposition movement. It was broadcast after the channel officially went on the air on Sunday.

A source familiar with the affairs of the news channel said Bahraini officials had delivered the suspension order on a visit to the station over issues of "journalistic neutrality."

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