An Egyptian satellite channel claims to have received threats from a jihadist group warning them to “change its media policies,” an online website reported on Wednesday.
The unknown group calling itself, “The Jihadist Group to Cleanse the Country,” sent a letter to ON TV saying it would kidnap some of its news presenters and inflict harm on companies that advertise with the channel.
The group added more threats on its list, and said that if the channel did not abide by their demands, it would kidnap the channel’s two popular TV hosts, Reem Maged and Yousri Fouda, and ask for over $3.2 million in ransom.
It also threatened to destroy the channel’s premises and studios.
The channel is known for its open and bold support for human rights community, and it regular invites activists and rights advocates on its shows.
“You have crossed all red lines and you are pushing the country to chaos, implementing an American Zionist agenda,” the jihadists wrote in a letter which was submitted to the police in Giza by head of ON TV, Albert Shafik, according to Alarabiya.
“We will not turn to the government or the law, they are the means of the weak and the position that you spread through Maged. They will not affect our great nation,” they wrote in the letter, adding “we command you to stop immediately or else we will force you to donate 10 million pounds [$1.7 million] to charity or the Naguib Sawiris companies and ON TV studios will be destroyed.
Commentators on the channel mocked the letter, saying it was an attempt of the old regime to intimidate liberal voices, while others accused the military council of being behind the threats.
The channel has been accused for its choice of topics and featuring guests.
Fouda’s show “Akher Kalam” (Last Words) was taken off air for one day after he invited novelist Alaa al-Aswany, an avid supporter of the Egyptian revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
Fouda responded by refusing to go back on air and only did so after public pressure.