Around 80 ex-employees of Al-Arab TV are planning to prosecute the billionaire Saudi owner, Prince Al-Walid Bin Talal, who dismissed them without, it is alleged, paying what was due to them in full, Moheet.com reported on Monday. The former staff of the news channel, which stopped broadcasting less than an hour after its launch in February 2015, accused Bin Talal of dismissing them arbitrarily.
The news channel was based in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, and was headed by senior Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoqji. It had 280 employees in 30 countries at the time of its launch. Al-Arab TV’s opening programme included Bahraini opposition activist Khalil Marzouq, who criticised the country for stripping 72 citizens of their passports.
Two years later, in February 2017, Bin Talal officially announced the closure of the channel after failing to have it broadcasting from Turkey, Qatar and Dubai. He dismissed all of its employees.
It was reported that the Saudi Arabian government was directly or indirectly behind the closure of the channel after putting pressure on Bahrain to stop it operating from Manama.
The channel was hoping to compete against the well-established Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.