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The Libyan interim government shut down both state TV channels on Tuesday (August 19th).
Egyptian satellite company Nilesat took Al-Wataniya and Al-Rasmiya off the air after receiving an official request from the acting Libyan media minister.
The TV stations had been under the control of anti-government forces and backed the Islamists fighting for control of Tripoli international airport.
Al-Rasmiya chief Nadhim Tayari slammed the move, calling it “a political decision and a desperate attempt by the House of Representatives and the interim government to suppress the voice of the revolution of February 17th”.
“We will call on all international organisations for freedom of speech to denounce this act and work to correct it,” he said.
Tarek Al-Houni, head of Al-Wataniya, has stepped down of his role as director of Channel 3 earlier this month, saying: “The reason for my resignation is because of the extremist groups who took over the channel and prevented it from exerting its role impartially.”
Libyans interviewed by Magharebia praised the decision to crack down on the militia-controlled television stations.
“It is a daring and brilliant move to shut down these channels that promoted the corrupt groups and their agendas at the expense of the Libyan people,” commented Samar Barqaoui, a 34-year-old bank employee. “From now on, the state channels will not promote the Egyptian supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, nor will it promote Hassan al-Banna or al-Zawahiri. It will promote a free civil state.”
Barqaoui added: “Let them go to Qatar, their masters, so that they will open up channels for them at their own expense.”
“The first positive move made by the House of Representatives was to shut down the channels of strife that incite killing and support Libya Dawn that seeks to destroy the capital,” remarked Amal Bsikri, a 41-year-old human rights activist. “Al-Wataniya belonged to the previous government, and Al-Rasmiya also belonged to the previous National Congress, and since they were taken over by the terrorists from Misrata they immediately began inciting violence and war.”
She added: “The terrorists are trying to use other frequencies to broadcast these two channels.”
“There is news confirming the closure of the Misrata channel,” journalist Fariha Mansouri said. “It spreads more strife and lies, because it calls for overthrowing the new parliament and the re-election of a new one, where the head of state would be from Misrata.”
“The city of Misrata is the cause of Libya’s problems. It was Misrata that carried out the Libya Dawn operation, which destroyed the Tripoli airport, bombed warehouses, and expelled families from their homes,” Mansouri added.
Source : Magharebia