, DOHA, Jan 30 – Al Jazeera on Sunday denounced the shutdown of its operations in Egypt by the Cairo authorities, saying the move was aimed at "censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people."
"Al Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists," the Qatar-based satellite channel said in a statement.
Egypt\’s outgoing information minister had earlier "ordered the closure of all activities by Al Jazeera in the Arab republic of Egypt, and the annulment of its licences, as well as withdrawing the press cards of all its employees," the official MENA news agency said.
Al Jazeera said: "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," it added.
Crowds of protesters on Sunday gathered in central Cairo for a sixth day of demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak\’s regime, which Al Jazeera has covered extensively.