Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah leader Hassan NasrallahReuters

Egyptian satellite company NileSat on Wednesday halted the broadcast of Hezbollah’s Al-Manar channel.

Hamdy Monunir, the chief technical officer at NileSat, told the website of the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper that the administration of NileSat had sent official notices to Al-Manar after it had breached its contract several times.

"We followed all the legal procedures and yet they did not listen, and so we took an action," he said, adding that the violations were related to broadcasting sectarian material.

The move comes four months after Saudi Arabia-based ArabSat cut the broadcast of Al-Manar for violating its contract and broadcasting sectarian material.

In statements to AFP, officials at Al-Manar denied that the channel had violated its contract with NileSat.

"This is a political decision, not an industry decision. Al-Manar has nothing to do with sectarian strife," the channel's general manager Ibrahim Farhat said, calling the move "unjust and arbitrary.”

"This is part of the political problem in the region that they're taking out on the media," Farhat told AFP.

A senior NileSat official told AFP that channels "must abide by not airing any violent or racist content, or provoking sectarian strife.”

In February, Gulf Arab states designated the Lebanon-based Shiite Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and warned they would take action against any citizen or expatriate against any links to it.

Hezbollah called the Gulf states’ decision to blacklist it "reckless and hostile" and blamed it on Saudi Arabia.