On Saturday 10th October, Officers from Egypt’s Censorship Department came to the SAT-7 studios with a search warrant and removed items of equipment, including cameras and computers used for editing. The Office Director, Mr. Farid Samir, was detained for 6 hours but then released.
Mr Samir (left) faces four charges relating to operating a satellite TV channel without the necessary licences, although the SAT-7 Egypt office is a programme production facility and not a satellite broadcast centre for any of the SAT-7 channels.
A hearing was held Sunday 11th October at the Public Prosecutor’s Office, during which it became clear that all charges are based on a lack of and/or incorrect information. A decision will be taken by the Public Prosecutor in the next few days concerning whether this case will go to court.
In the meantime, the confiscated equipment remains in police custody and the normal activities of SAT-7 in Egypt are severely disrupted.
The work of SAT-7 Egypt is carried out under the legal umbrella of the Coptic Evangelical Church but its services are in support of all the Church denominations in Egypt.
Though facing challenges, the SAT-7 team in Egypt remain encouraged by the love and support they have received over this difficult weekend. We would ask for your continued prayers. As Farid Samir wrote on Sunday, we invite you to please “Unite with us in prayer so that we can complete our ministry – one based on love and which aims to serve our beloved country [Egypt]”.
Photo: Recording an episode of We Will Sing in the Egypt studio
• For Farid and his family, that they will know the Lord’s peace and strength at this difficult time.
• That the Public Prosecutor will conclude that there is no case to answer.
• For SAT-7’s team in Egypt as they try to operate without the confiscated equipment. Pray that it will all be returned quickly.
SAT-7 UK Director Rachel Fadipe explains the developments to Vicky Gibbens of UCB Radio.