World

Bahrain says it suspended Saudi prince's TV channel for lacking license, anti-terror standards

  • FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 file photo, advertising on the side of a skyscraper shows news anchors for the newly launched Alarab TV network, in Manama, Bahrain. Bahraini authorities have formally announced the suspension of a new pan-Arab news channel backed by a billionaire Saudi prince a week after it disappeared from the airwaves hours after it began broadcasting. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 file photo, advertising on the side of a skyscraper shows news anchors for the newly launched Alarab TV network, in Manama, Bahrain. Bahraini authorities have formally announced the suspension of a new pan-Arab news channel backed by a billionaire Saudi prince a week after it disappeared from the airwaves hours after it began broadcasting. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, a man adjusts his head scarf during a press conference for the launching of a new Arabic news channel in Manama, Bahrain. Bahraini authorities have formally announced the suspension of a new pan-Arab news channel backed by a billionaire Saudi prince a week after it disappeared from the airwaves hours after it began broadcasting. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

    FILE- In this Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, a man adjusts his head scarf during a press conference for the launching of a new Arabic news channel in Manama, Bahrain. Bahraini authorities have formally announced the suspension of a new pan-Arab news channel backed by a billionaire Saudi prince a week after it disappeared from the airwaves hours after it began broadcasting. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)  (The Associated Press)

Bahrain says it suspended a new pan-Arab news channel within hours of its first broadcast because it has no license and failed to meet anti-terrorist standards.

The island kingdom's Information Affairs Authority said Monday that the government has blocked transmissions of the Alarab network since Feb. 2 partly because it failed "to take account of efforts aimed at stemming the tide of extremism and terrorism."

Alarab, which is backed by a billionaire Saudi prince, made no comment.

One of Alarab's first broadcast interviews was with government critic Khalil al-Marzooq, a top official in the largest Shiite opposition bloc in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Al-Marzooq and other Shiite lawmakers withdrew from Bahrain's parliament in 2011. He was acquitted last year of "inciting terrorism," a charge that human rights groups called politically motivated.