The channel has been alone domestically in covering the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s beleaguered political party
In a concession to Egyptian authorities, Qatar will stop broadcasting an Al-Jazeera affiliate in Cairo that has criticized Egypt’s military-led government.
In agreeing to the suspension, Qatar is seeking closer ties with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, which had urged the tiny gulf state to cease its long-time support for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood — the political party of the ousted president whom Sisi displaced, Mohamed Morsi, Reuters reports. Qatar owns Al-Jazeera, though the international news channel is yet largely seen a free voice in a region severely wanting for free media voices.
The local station, Al Jazeera Live Egypt, was the last major news outlet in Egypt that was willing to cover the Brotherhood.
Two journalists for Al Jazeera —Peter Greste and Mohamed Fahmy — began serving seven-year sentences last December on charges of conspiring with the Brotherhood against the Egyptian state, while a third, Baher Mohamed, received a ten-year sentence. All three vehemently deny the charges, which have been condemned by human-rights groups.