Logo of Al-Alam news channel
Egyptian police on Sunday raided the Cairo office of Iranian television channel, Al-Alam, confiscating its equipment after it was found to be operating without a licence, a security source said on Monday.
The head of Al-Alam’s Cairo office, Ahmed Sioufi, was charged with working without an official permit, a source told the Al Arabiya news network.
On the Arabic-language channel’s website, Sioufi confirmed that “several members of the police raided the office of Al-Alam” in Cairo.
He slammed the raid as an “attack on freedoms, a means to silence” the media, adding that the channel had repeatedly requested an official work permit.
It was the second time the station had been raided. In July 2008, the channel had its equipment confiscated after it failed to get permission to broadcast from Egypt.
Dozens of journalists, including Al-Alam staff, protested against the move outside the journalist’s syndicate in Cairo, an AFP photographer said.
Following Iran's Islamic revolution, Tehran severed diplomatic relations with Cairo in 1980 after Egypt’s signing of the 1979 Camp David peace agreement with Israel.
Egypt’s toppled president Hosni Mubarak harboured a strong distrust of Tehran, regarding it as a destabilising element in the Middle East.
Since his ouster in a popular uprising last year, Cairo and Tehran have made efforts to normalise diplomatic relations, with little success.