The administration board of the Egyptian Tahrir TV's decision to ban Dina Abdel-Rahman from presenting her daily show “Al-Yawm” (Today) sparked controversy over the former regime's ongoing control on
Dina Abdel-Rahman’s show was abruptly and inexplicably halted on February 11. Immediately after, Tahrir TV issued a statement alleging that the show was stopped due to disputes on the contract.
However, this contradicts Abdel-Rahman and one of the show editors' accounts, which affirmed that the dispute was due to the board’s desire to modify the contract in order to intervene in the show's editorial policies.
The old contract stated the inadmissibility of the board’s intervention in editorial decisions. The whole dispute took place after Abdel-Rahman presented the Kazeboon (Liars) campaign that exposed the Military Council’s violations of human rights.
The Egyptian presenter had been dismissed by Dream TV’s administration board because of her impartiality in addressing the Abbasiya events, and her presentation of an article critical to the Military Council during the press section of Dream’s Morning show. Accordingly, she left Dream TV and to join Tahrir TV.
Abdel-Rahman was not the first one to leave Tahrir TV, as several media professionals were forced to do the same due to the change of the TV's editorial policies. The channel was recently bought by Sulaiman Amer, who replaced Hamdy Qandil and is believed to be part of the former regime. Before Qandil's departure, the Egyptian journalist Ebrahim Eissa and Doaa Soltan left the channel as well.
The Arabic Network For Human Rights Information (ANHRI) strongly condemned the administration board of Tahrir TV for its prevention of the media professional Dina Abdel-Rahman from presenting her daily show.
ANHRI issued a statement saying: “What is happening now in Tahrir TV is a repetition of the scenario of Dostour newspaper in 2010, while Mubarak was still president. Sayed Al-Badawy bought the newspaper then dismissed Ebrahim Eissa and the editorial team so as to change the editorial policies of the newspaper that was known for its strong opposition to the authorities. As this attempt succeeded, it is happening all over again following the success of the 25 January revolution. Tahrir TV was established to become the voice and the support of the Egyptian revolution. However, Sulaiman Amer bought the channel amid reports that he came to change its editorial policies in favour of special interests with the authorities.”
“The repetition of this scenario with Tahrir TV, which resulted in Dina Abdel-Rahman's ban from presenting her show, demonstrates that the Egyptian media needs an independent direction and a council to reform it, by implementing a series of legislative reforms that would prevent businessmen and owners of channels from intervening in the editorial policy. Such reforms would prevent owners of capitals from controlling the media industry and monopolizing private media outlets, which is the way the government controls state media,” the statement added.