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Old 09-23-2003, 02:52 PM   #1
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US-backed council bars Arab media

I saw this reported on the German Journal on ITV. I couldn't find it reported anywhere but their own site.

http://english.aljazeera.net/Article...V+stations.htm

US-backed council bars Arab media
By Roshan Muhammed Salih

Tuesday 23 September 2003, 18:11 Makka Time, 15:11 GMT

Freedom of speech campaigners have condemned US-appointed authorities in Iraq for banning television stations Aljazeera and al- Arabiya.


Iraq's Governing Council said on Tuesday the stations were prohibited from covering official activities in Iraq for two weeks.

It said the action was taken as a warning to broadcasters who incite anti-US violence.

"Al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya will temporarily be excluded from any coverage of Governing Council activities or official press conferences, and correspondents of the two channels will not be allowed to enter ministries or government offices for two weeks," the council said in a statement.

US officials have accused Qatar-based Aljazeera and Dubai-based al-Arabiya of giving too much prominence to anti-US attacks and providing a forum for backers of ousted President Saddam Hussein.

Bias

Both channels, which are competitors for the Arab world audience, strenuously deny charges of bias.

Aljazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout said the station regretted the decision, but "will continue our work as usual until we are officially notified".

Al-Arabiya officials have yet to react in detail.

However, Rohan Jayasekera, of London-based Index on Censorship, said the bans were "blatantly unfair".

"The Americans and the British have had previous experience in Bosnia and Kosovo of the difficult balancing act between encouraging democracy and an independent media and preventing incitement to violence.

Due process

"They managed it quite well there but have failed in Iraq. At the moment, the Governing Council is basically told what to do by the Americans. But if they are going to ban media outlets then the complaints have to be addressed fairly and there has to be a right of reply."

...

And British MP and Iraq expert George Galloway said the council decision was an indictment of the way the American-led forces were running the country.

"This puts a nail in the coffin of the big lie that the West was going into Iraq to liberate the country in the name of freedom and democracy and to rid it of the yoke of dictatorship," he said.

"Aljazeera and al-Arabiya have the right to report news. They cater to their audience and will obviously favouritise stories their audience is interested in.

"Other media organisations should protest vociferously against this decision because today it is Aljazeera and al-Arabiya but tomorrow it could be them."

I think this is a bad tactic. There have alreasy been reports of severe restrictions on Iraqi TV. It will only greater inflame the Arab world and lead them to believe the worst. What do we have to hide?
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:17 PM   #2
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Last spring, an Iraqi on the 4iraqis site told me that a reading from the Koran had been censored by the U.S. authorities on a Baghdad TV station. Iraqis were outraged. This Iraqi told me that Iraqi parents are nervous about some of their kids being on drugs and so forth and they really want these kids to have religious training. This incident showed contempt for Iraqi culture and people. I don't blame them for being outraged over this incident, and other incidents like it. This is precisely the kind of screw-up we can't afford to make. The U.S. hasn't even used translators. Doh! No wonder Iraq is such a mess now.
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Old 09-23-2003, 08:22 PM   #3
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Censorship in the new "free" iraqi media is pretty comon.

According to a german reporter team every day there are US soldiers who reads all stories before he gives his ok that they can be aired in the stations. They also write articles themself which are presented as "news" if they think the new media didn't mention enough the positive sides of the liberation.

But they didn't call it censorship, it was "supporting" the new radio and tv stations

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Old 09-23-2003, 09:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
Censorship in the new "free" iraqi media is pretty comon.

According to a german reporter team every day there are US soldiers who reads all stories before he gives his ok that they can be aired in the stations. They also write articles themself which are presented as "news" if they think the new media didn't mention enough the positive sides of the liberation.

But they didn't call it censorship, it was "supporting" the new radio and tv stations

Klaus
They shouldn't be doing this. They should have Iraqi consultants, who wouldn't do stupid things like ban Koran readings. This stuff upsets me.
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