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Egypt suspends TV official over ‘rape threat’

The suspect was heard in a leaked audio tape stating his intention to target an unnamed journalist

Gulf News

Cairo: Authorities at Egyptian state television on Friday suspended a senior official after he purportedly ranted in a recording that he would sexually assault a journalist.

The National Authority for Media, a state television regulator, said that the head of the Family Channel, a broadcaster affiliated to the official television, had been suspended from his job for interrogation over the allegations.

The agency added in a terse statement that it would act against “any wrongdoer or anyone, who hampers television development”.

In the audio recording, a man is heard talking to others using vulgar language and threatening to rape the unnamed journalist. “There is a woman journalist that I’ll rape. I like raping,” the man shouts in the recording that was leaked and aired on the private television station Al Nahar on Thursday night.

Al Nahar claimed that the man in question is a senior official at a thematic channel affiliated to state television. His name was not given.

The recording has since gone viral online, sparking outrage.

Egypt’s Journalists Syndicate said it would file a legal complaint against the official with the country’s chief prosecutor.

The incident has come to the surface amid efforts to rejuvenate the state television that has suffered from a credibility crisis and financial woes since the 2011 uprising, which forced long-time president Hosni Mubarak out of power.

The television was accused of biased reporting in favour of the Mubarak regime during the 18-day revolt.