RSF issues an immediate press release questioning the blockage of Capital Talk and Meray Mutabiq on GEO tv
PAKISTAN-UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Dubai-based satellite TV station GEO News censored again
Reporters Without Borders calls on the governments of Pakistan and United Arab Emirates to explain how GEO News, a Pakistani privately-owned TV station that broadcasts by satellite from Dubai, was forced to drop two very popular talk shows under threat of losing its licence to operate in Dubai.
GEO TV president Imran Aslam told Reporters Without Borders that the Dubai authorities informed him last night that the station would lose its licence if “Capital Talk,” a show hosted by Hamid Mir, and “Meray Mutabek” (According to me), hosted by Shahid Masood, were not taken off the air.
Officials at Dubai Media City, where the GEO TV group is based, said these programmes threatened UAE’s relations with a friendly country.
The Pakistani information minister said her government was not involved in the decision. But GEO TV journalists suspect that President Pervez Musharraf applied pressure for the two programmes to be withdrawn. Masood recently interviewed a former general who was very critical of Musharraf.
The two shows also had also given a lot of coverage to efforts by lawyers to obtain the reinstatement of judges dismissed by Musharraf last year. In November, Musharraf pressured the Dubai government to suspend GEO TV’s operations altogether.
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