The channel’s staff created a Facebook page to publicly spread their demands as the foundation slowly tumbles while exposing itself, along with the people behind it – Photo compiled by Egypt Today/Mohamed Zain
CAIRO – 17 January 2018: Tensions plagued the general assembly of Al-Sharq TV, a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated satellite channel based in Turkey, over the past weeks.
Egyptian dissident politician Ayman Nour, owner and manager of Al-Sharq TV, was accused by the channel’s staff and general assembly of “robbing” their financial dues and concealing the channel’s budget.
The channel’s staff created a Facebook page to publicly spread their demands as the foundation slowly tumbles while exposing itself, along with the people behind it.
The channel’s board of directors issued a statement on Jan. 15 saying the channel’s staff did not demand anything but justice, human dignity and a professional administration that helps smoothing the path for opposing the regime.
The statement issued on Jan. 15
The demands carried by the statement that was issued from Istanbul were;
• The official announcement of a workers syndicate, in which 65 employees are registered.
• Revoking what the channel management decided on Jan. 1 and adhere to the first nine demands that were demanded by the committee that represented the whole staff.
• Revoking the channel’s “deformed” internal regulations that were set in a rush after 28 months of random work; it is nothing but a list of retaliation that drives the foundation away from stability.
• Revoking the decision to dismiss our colleagues Mijahid Ahmed and Sayed Shaker. Who got fired arbitrarily after the announcement of the first demands list.
• The staff appreciates the role carried out by Saif Abdel-Fatah, who has been calling for the rights of the channel’s workers
, before any legitimate escalations that might be taken by the staff to preserve their rights.
• An invitation will be out soon for the syndicate’s constituent meeting with the presence of a legal adviser.
• The crisis did not end, and will not end unless the demands are met.
• The formation of an administrative board that includes at least two workers in order to ensure their rights are being preserved.
The channel’s board of directors consists of leading Muslim Brotherhood figures including former member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad Tarek al-Zumar, former manager of Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s office in Doha Essam Talima, and Qaradawi’s son Abdulrahman Yusuf.
A previous statement issued by the channel’s workers revealed details of scams that the channel’s owner, Ayman Nour, is involved in.
The statement said he purchased rickety devices for the channel while stealing the funding provided by the Muslim Brotherhood and some other foreign organizations.
It further stressed that the channel is not financially incapable; however, it suffers a case of corruption as about half of what it receives from sponsors and supporters get stolen.
The statement also added that the continuous electricity outages, screens going off, and air conditioners breaking is not because of a financial crisis, but because the equipment and devices that were purchased are all used and ramshackle.
“We were not lying when we spoke of our colleague who was ordered to clean the channel owner’s apartment, and we were not faking when we spoke of another one who has been working for four months under claims that he is a “trainee”,” the statement said.
“We were only saying the truth, and we have proofs of the pressure and terror that is being practiced over young people by those who have no mercy or manners.”
Workers got infuriated when Nour announced he is establishing a new channel, as they did not get their financial dues in the first place and Nour is likely having the money to establish a new channel; therefore, the workers decided to create a committee to sue Nour.
Reliable sources at the channel told Egypt Today that Nour threatened workers that he is going to shut the channel down in an attempt to force them into accepting the decisions he recently announced. Around 60 workers refused the decisions.
The sources added that Nour convinced the Brotherhood to support him in the Sharq crisis just to preserve his image before Qatari sponsors.