Exiled Egyptian broadcaster Moataz Matar to sue UK for revoking visa over 'support for Hamas'
Egyptian exiled TV presenter Moataz Matar said he would sue the British government after his UK visa had recently been revoked over his alleged support of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas faction and its ongoing war with Israel.
"Perhaps the line in the Telegraph report mentioning me as the first [foreign national] to have his visa revoked by the Homes Office is the only accurate detail," Matar said in a video posted on his official YouTube channel on Sunday.
According to the London-based newspaper, Matar, who is said to have taken part in pro-Palestinian protests in London, has also been placed on a watch list, which means he cannot return to Britain.
"It is the first 'expulsion' by Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, and Robert Jenrick, immigration minister, since announcing plans to crack down on foreign nationals for alleged anti-Semitic behaviour or comments in the wake of the Hamas terror attack on Israel," the paper reported.
Matar, 48, who has 4.3 million subscribers to his official YouTube channel and 12 million followers on his Facebook account, is known to have fled Egypt following the coup that overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. His current whereabouts and legal status remain unclear till the time of publication.
In 2019, the 48-year-old-broadcaster, who had already been at loggerheads with the Egyptian government for his constant outspoken criticism of the regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was put on Egypt's terrorism watch list among dozens of other pro-Muslim Brotherhood group figures.
Two years later, Matar declared during his TV show on the liberal Istanbul-based El-Sharq channel that he would go on "an unlimited leave" following the rapprochement between Cairo and Ankara.
After the Arab Spring, Istanbul became the capital of Arab media critical of their regimes back home, especially for Egyptian media figures affiliated or sympathetic with Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.