Iraq Bans Al-Jazeera

Now that I am a minor member of the media, this sort of event disturbs me even more than in the past. Iraq has banned the only independent, Arabic-language news channel in Iraq: The Iraqi government closed the Iraqi offices of the Arab television station Al-Jazeera for 30 days, accusing it Saturday of inciting violence.(...)

Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said the government convened an independent commission a month ago to monitor Al-Jazeera's daily coverage "to see what kind of violence they are advocating, inciting hatred and problems and racial tension."

Based on the commission's finding, the National Security Committee ordered the monthlong closure, Allawi said.

Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib said the closure was intended to give the station "a chance to readjust their policy against Iraq."(...)

During a July 25 interview with Al-Jazeera in Moscow, interim Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari accused the channel of biased reporting and implied its journalists could be barred from the country.

"We do not tolerate those who exploit the freedom of the media," Zebari said then. "These channels have become channels for provocation against the interest, security and safety of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government will not be lenient toward such behavior."

Of course, since Al-Jazeera is the only Arabic-language news channel in the area where you could have a debate about whether or not it is biased, the representatives of the same Iraqi government that banned the network were willing to be interviewed on it. Obviously, Iraq is still working out that freedom of the press thing.

I guess bombing Al-Jazeera was not enough. At the same time, I wonder if there will be any repercussions for journalists who ran the bogus beheading story. Oh yeah, I don't want to incite violence or anything, but people are still dying in Iraq.

Tags: Media (all tags)



You're not minor at all.

Check out Control Room - it's very good.

by Matt Stoller 2004-08-07 11:28AM | 0 recs
Ahhh, yes, Mission Accomplished.
Lets take a look at that to-do list, eh?

Democracy?  The right to vote?  Nope.
Ended the daily threat of death and violence?  Nope.
Ended the threat of torture, or imprisonment without due process?  Nope.
Freedom of religion?  Nope.
Freedom of assembly?  Nope.
Freedom of press?  Nope.
Worker's rights?  Nope.
Women's rights? Nope.
Improved infrastructure, health care and basic services?  Nope.

Well, at least the price at the pump is going down.  A little bit.  I feel better.  Thanks god so many people voted for insular, wealthy former oil and military company executives because of their just get things done approach to life and their strong sense of good Christian and family values.

by Spartacus 2004-08-07 03:00PM | 0 recs


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