JERUSALEM, Israel - Egyptian authorities ordered the Qatar-based pan-Arab al-Jazeera network to close its Cairo bureau, effectively discontinuing its round-the-clock coverage of the violent protests taking place countrywide.
"The information minister ordered the suspension of operations of al-Jazeera, cancelling its licenses and withdrawing accreditation to all its staff as of today," the ministry said in a statement.
Al-Jazeera said the decision was meant to "stifle and repress" free reporting.
"Al-Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists. In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society, it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard. The closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people," read a statement posted on the website.
Some analysts believe al-Jazeera uses its broadcasts to foment uprisings.
Egypt is not the first country in the Middle East to restrict its broadcasts. It has also faced past bans in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.