CAIRO – 2 February 2018: Workers at Al-Sharq TV, a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated satellite channel based in Turkey, on Thursday issued a statement that exposes violations committed by dissident politician Ayman Nour, owner and manager of Al-Sharq TV, the channel's administration and Al-Sharq host, Moataz Matar.
The statement as published by Anadolu Agency - Twitter/aa_arabic
Nour is accused by the general assembly and workers of the channel of “robbing” their financial dues and concealing the channel’s budget.
The statement, which was published by the Anadolu Agency's twitter account, said Nour, Matar and the channel's administration are colluding against workers at the channel, who are currently incapable of bearing their basic life costs.
UPDATE:The Anadolu Agency announced via Twitter on Feb. 3, 2018 that its Twitter account was hacked for around five minutes, during which contents related to Nour were published.
"The channel's administration took some arbitrary decisions against us and we cannot get even the simplest rights, taking advantage of our situations as the majority of us are wanted in Egypt," the statement added.
The channel's staff declared their complete refusal of Nour's administration and decisions, which wasted their rights as he "was not honest with the funds he receives for the channel."
Nour, cuddling with his dog, as shown by the statement - Twitter/aa_arabic
The statement further added that Nour spends employees' financial dues for his own pleasures, like attracting prostitutes, gambling buying liquor and dog petting, while most of the employees cannot even buy food.
Ayman Nour living a luxurious life while workers at the channel are suffering and financially incapable, according to the statement - Twitter/aa_arabic
Undercover co-op with foreign intelligence services
In other news, some workers at the channel on Thursday accused Nour of involving with companies that collect data about Egyptians in Turkey for foreign intelligence agencies.
Sources told Egypt Today that Nour assigned Total Media, which is known as TMC, to manage the channel.
TMC is known to have a bad reputation in Istanbul, it has no Egyptian employees.
"Nour pays this company around $20 thousand dollars a month to supervise the channel; TMC's executive director is a Palestinian-Lebanese called Hossam al-Refaie," the sources said.
"Refaie is known for utmost hatred and bad attitude towards Egyptian employees at the channel, he is well supported by Nour," the sources added.
The sources also mentioned that the same Refaie was also supervising the Turkish-based and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Arabic television channel Mekameleen
The sources affirmed that such companies, especially in Turkey, all execute the same objective, which is to collect data about Muslim Brotherhood elements that exist in Turkey and Qatar and deliver them to security agencies, such as the British Intelligence Service.
Nour resorts to MB
On Jan 30, Sources in Al-Sharq TV channel revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood offered to help Nour to resolve the crisis the channel is involved in.
Nour was sharply blamed for suspending the live programs on the channel, without its Qatari funder's permission, the sources said, and was ordered to re-operate the channel, and compromise with the employees.
Nour held a meeting, where only 30 of the employees attended, and therefore, invited some of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders and their allies in Turkey, to increase the number of the attendees.
During the meeting, the employees were compelled to sign a document calling for the reoperation of the channel, according to the sources, to make the step appear as taken at their request.
The Muslim Brotherhood called on Nour to hand over the channel’s administration to Ahmed Abdou, former executive manager of ‘Misr Ala'n’ (Egypt Now) TV channel, to carry out Nour’s policies, the sources revealed.
Misr Ala'n was an Istanbul-based, pro-Muslim Brotherhood channel that was closed in 2015, because, according to former Brotherhood leader Tarek Aboul-Saad, the brotherhood figures stopped funding the "violence inciting" channel.
How it all started?
As 2018 kicked in, tensions plagued the general assembly of Al-Sharq TV, a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated satellite channel based in Turkey.
Nour 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.
Highlights on Ayman Nour
On January 23, the Egyptian Syndicate of Journalists dropped the membership of Ayman Nour for his failure to pay off the subscription financial dues.
Nour is an Egyptian lawyer, politician, a former parliamentarian, the founder of the El-Ghad party, and the leader of the Ghad Al-Thawra (Tomorrow's Revolution) party.
In January 2005, Nour was stripped of his parliamentarian immunity and was arrested over charges of forging powers of attorney to secure the formation of the El-Ghad party.
Nour was one of the September 2005 presidential election candidates during former President Hosni Mubarak’s rule; he finished second after Mubarak.
Nour also submitted his candidacy papers to run in the country’s 2012 presidential election, after Mubarak was toppled in February 2011, but was excluded due to legal reasons related to the El-Ghad party’s case.
Following massive street demonstrations in June 30, 2013, against former President Mohamed Morsi, Nour called on Morsi to resign to prevent the bloodshed.
After the ouster of Morsi on July 3, 2013, Nour fled to Turkey, where he has been a fierce critic of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the Egyptian military since.
In April 2017, a lawsuit to strip former presidential candidate Ayman Nour of his Egyptian citizenship was filed for operating a pro-Muslim Brotherhood satellite channel. The court has dropped the case in November 2017.
In an interview with Egypt Today on Monday, Moussa Mostafa Moussa, chairperson of El-Ghad Party and last-minute presidential candidate of the 2018 election, said that Nour has sold his country and is a man with no principles or values.
"Nour lives in Turkey and receives funding from foreign countries, founding a satellite channel only to broadcast rumors and lies about Egypt," Moussa added.