Saqi TV banned for 'disrupting public order'

HERAT, September 15, 2010

Saqi TV, a privately-run channel in Herat, has been banned after ruling from the Office of Attorney General based on complaints from the Media Violations Commission.

A delegation from local prosecutors, representatives of the National Directorate of Security and the provincial council sealed the TV station's office and turned off its transmitters.

The decision came after the Media Violations Commission received complaints about the TV's call for public rallies and religious rituals to mark giving up by an American bishop the decision to burn Quran in the United States.

The commission has found that the channel's call was 'disruptive of public order' and was inciting violent mobs.

Tariq Nabi, director of Saqi TV, told Afghanistan Journalists Center the ruling was biased and 'nonsense'.

On the night in which the channel issued the call for public rallies, demonstrators took to streets of Herat city, threw stones on public offices and torn campaign posters of the parliamentary candidates. A school was also burnt later in the night in outskirts of the city.

The channel is on air since early 2005 with viewership in Herat city as well as several nearby districts.