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Controversial Arabic channel al-Manar was taken off air last December because of its lack of balance and its support of Hezbollah. The channel was alleged to have breached Arabsat’s contract terms.
On December 2nd a Lebanese court ruled that Arabsat should put the channel back on air “as soon as possible”.
Judge of Urgent Matters Hasan Hamdan said in his ruling that the Code of Civil Procedure allows him to examine “urgent matter cases which have occurred in his constituency.”
The judge’s constituency is the Lebanon, usually the home base of the al-Manar, although the channel shifted its base on nearby Jordan earlier this year. Most observers do not see a speedy return of the channel to Arabsat, given that the judge has no jurisdiction in Saudi Arabia where Arabsat is headquartered.