First Published: 2012-01-12


Palestinian court overrules ban on satire show Watan ala Watar


Palestinian High Court overrules ban on broadcast of popular satirical programme, Homeland Hanging by Thread.


Middle East Online

Show was broadcast daily during Ramadan

RAMALLAH - The Palestinian High Court has overruled a ban on the broadcast of a popular satirical programme, the director of programming at Palestine TV said on Thursday.

Imad Asfar said the court had overruled a ban by the attorney general on the transmission of "Watan ala Watar" or "Homeland Hanging by a Thread," saying the programme could now be broadcast on Palestinian television.

Attorney general Ahmad al-Mughani ordered the show off the air in August 2011 after a slew of complaints, some of them from officials who were skewered by the satirical sketch show.

"The court decision is a good step towards limiting the attorney general's ability to interfere in artistic works," Asfar said.

Despite the ruling, Asfar said it was unlikely the programme would return to Palestine TV's line-up, saying its programming team had been working to create shows to replace it.

Imad Farajin, co-creator of the show which has been running since 2009, said he had been negotiating for some time with Arab television channels interested in broadcasting it.

"I don't think that 'Watan ala Watar' will return to Palestine TV because the decision to take it off the air in the first place was a political one and not judicial," he said.

Before it was banned, "Watan ala Watar" was broadcast daily during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan -- a peak time for television viewers in the region, and on a weekly basis for the rest of the year.

It gained a following for its unprecedented tongue-in-cheek criticism of Palestinian and foreign leaders, as well as institutions, and clips from the show were widely circulated online, especially on YouTube.

But the show was taken off air following complaints from individuals ranging from the head of the anti-corruption commission to the director of the Palestinian police force.


Syria rebels prepare to quit penultimate pocket of Ghouta

Egyptians prepare to vote with Sisi reelection guaranteed

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Iran slams US sanctions over hacking scheme

Iraqi widow saved recruits from slaughter by IS

Policeman dead in bombing in Alexandria

Syrians in Manbij fear Turkey, bet on US

Quick victory unlikely in Egypt assault on IS

Sisi, Egypt's undisputed leader and 'father figure'

PKK to quit northwest Iraq after Turkish threat

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

Saudi to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007