Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority (IAA) has suspended Al-Arab satellite channel “following its failure to obtain the required licensing approval to commence broadcasting in Bahrain.”
Last week, the TV channel stopped broadcasting just one day after launching. Alarab TV was set-up in Bahrain because Saudi Arabia does not allow independent media to operate in the kingdom. It is owned by Saudi billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal
A week ago, the channel said that it had stopped broadcasting for “technical and administrative reasons” and that it would be back on air “soon.”
The IAA emphasises that “”the channel had also failed to match the standards of regional and international practice agreements, to take account of efforts aimed at stemming the tide of extremism and terrorism throughout the region and the wider world.”
The IAA stressed “that the decision has no impact upon principles of media freedom and is strictly based on the government’s commitment to ensuring the diversity and impartiality of media outlets in the Kingdom.”
Local newspapers claimed programming was suspended due to the fact the station aired footage of a member of the Bahraini opposition, Khalil al-Marzooq, which was deemed offensive to the government.