Dubai: Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) suspended the show Sabaya El Kheir on Al Nahar TV network pending investigations with the show’s presenter Reham Saeed over a controversial episode featuring an illegal wild animal hunting trip.
“Based on the complaints the SCMR received, the show will be suspended till the end of the investigations with the TV host and her legal representatives,” the SCMR said in its statement yesterday.
Not a stranger to controversy nor suspension, Saeed found herself in hot water again as she was starting a new season of her popular talk show Sabaya El Kheir when she aired a segment showing herself on a wild animal hunting trip in the desert featuring the merciless capture of a small fox.
The episode drew huge criticism from animal rights defenders and other viewers, who were shocked with the amount of cruelty dealt to the fox that was pinned down and tied from its legs and mouth, looking helpless and in pain at the hunters who accompanied Saeed.
Due to the increasing complaints, Al Nahar TV network removed the episode from all its accounts on different social media platforms including YouTube and Facebook.
The network apologised to viewers by saying the episode simply aimed to shed light on animal hunting activity inorder to boost the country’s exports.
In a live Facebook stream, Saeed said that she did not know prior to the hunting trip how her hunting party were going to hunt nor what they were going to hunt, adding that she loved animals.
She also explained that she wanted to shed light on animal hunting and present something unseen in the Arab world.
On Thursday, Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad issued a statement slamming Saeed and her show, saying that the hunting trip was unlicensed to begin with and that the ministry was taking legal action over this episode.
She noted that article 28 of the environment law prohibits dealing with Egyptian wildlife without a permit from the Environmental Affairs Agency, the statement added.
The ministry urged all people to preserve biological diversity, as it is a right for future generations and the basis of life on Earth.
Egypt presided over the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Saeed has just recently returned on air after being suspended for nearly a year following her offensive statements on the show describing overweight people as “a burden.”