Moataz Matar, television show host at the Istanbul-based el-Sharq channel. Photo from his personal Facebook account.
CAIRO, Nov 19 (Aswat Masriya) – An Egyptian court sentenced TV host Moataz Matar in absentia to three years in prison for inciting protests against the state and spreading rumours through his program aired on al-Sharq satellite channel.
The Dokki Misdemeanors Court referred Matar to a terrorism circuit last week after the prosecution said Matar incited against state institutions and public figures as well as spread false information.
Matar also incited protests against the president and mocked his speeches, according to the investigation.
The TV show host was sentenced in July 2015 to 10 years in prison in absentia also for "inciting to overthrow of the regime" and "spreading false news."
Based in Istanbul, Turkey, al-Sharq has been the target of much criticism from the Egyptian government, which previously accused it of incitement and deems it a “terrorist channel affiliated with the banned Muslim Brotherhood.”
Authorities have led a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters since former president Mohamed Mursi was overthrown in July 2013. Mursi himself is in jail, facing a string of charges in more than one court case.
A few Islamist-leaning channels that were strongly supporting Mursi were taken off the air the same day then-defence minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced Mursi’s removal from office.
Egypt listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013 and insists it is behind the wave of militancy that has targeted security personnel since Mursi’s ouster.
The Brotherhood continuously denies the accusations.