Egyptian authorities have returned all the equipment they had earlier confiscated from SAT-7 local offices, the Christian broadcaster said earlier this week (Feb.2).
This comes more than three months after the country’s censorship police raided the channel’s Cairo offices, seizing computers and production equipment.
On October 10, 2015, the authorities came to the SAT-7 Cairo offices with a search warrant. Country director Farid Samir was briefly detained on charges of operating a satellite TV channel “without the necessary licenses.”
The returned equipment on Jan. 28 signals a return to full production in Arabic.
“The work of the Egypt team has been limited since the raid,” a SAT-7 statement said. “However, the ARABIC and KIDS channels have been able to screen live programs from SAT-7’s Lebanon studio as well as programmes produced by partners.”
While SAT-7 is still not clear about the legal nature of the prior action by the Egyptian authorities, the returned equipment suggests charges against the leading Christian broadcaster could soon be dropped.
First launched in 1996, SAT-7 has pioneered work in the field of Arabic Christian media, becoming a household name among many Christians in the region. It has since expanded to include channels in both Farsi and Turkish.