File - AP Photo/Amr Nabil
Egypt Bans al-Jazeera for Inciting Hatred, Sedition

Egypt today banned two channels, including Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera for inciting "hatred and sedition" and "undermining national unity" by airing pro-Muslim Brotherhood views.

The State Council, which is a judicial advisory body, banned Al-Jazeera and privately-owned Rabaa channel after a law suit was filed with it.

The suit alleged that the channels were violating the rules set by the Council of Arab Ministers of Information that call on media outlets to maintain public unity and order, state-run Ahram newspaper reported.

The State Council found the channels made violations and encouraged crimes against the Egyptians by "inciting hatred and sedition" against Coptic Christians and "undermining national unity", presiding judge Hasouna Tawfiq said.

Al-Jazeera is perceived to be biased towards the Brotherhood by Egypt's army, which overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last summer in a military-led ouster and banned the organisation subsequently.

Three Al-Jazeera journalists, including Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and producer Baher Mohamed, are already undergoing seven to ten years of prison terms for aiding the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Cairo offices of the network's Egypt-focused channel, Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, have been closed since July last year– the date of Morsi's ouster.

Meanwhile, the State Council also banned broadcasts of the Rabaa channel after lawyer Samir Sabry filed a lawsuit accusing it of spreading false news against Egypt and inciting protests and violence.

Rabaa was launched in December last year from Turkey – a key ally during Morsi's brief one-year term and a critic of Egypt's present government.

The channel is named after Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square, site of a pro-Morsi protest camp that was forcibly dispersed by security forces on 14 August 2013, leading to the death of hundreds.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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