The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
The US-appointed Governing Council in Iraq has decided to ban two leading Arabic news channels from the country for allegedly inciting violence, according to reports. Member Samir al-Sumaidy said the council had discussed "abuses by certain Arabic media, particularly al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya" and "tough and dissuasive measures" would be taken against them", French news agency AFP reported. The news channels have angered Iraqi officials in recent weeks by broadcasting pictures of masked men calling for attacks against US-led occupation forces. The US civilian administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, must approve such a move before any action can be taken, and both networks said they had received no official notification about a ban. "We have not been advised officially of such a decision. Our office is still open, our people are still working. It's business as usual," said al-Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout. In Iraq, US forces killed at one person in a raid on a house near Falluja, west of Baghdad, on Tuesday. Falluja is a stronghold of supporters of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and has been a flashpoint for attacks on US troops. Reporters 'face expulsion' Media reports say the Governing Council voted to expel reporters from both channels for a month. The UK's Times newspaper quoted council member Mudhar Shawkat as saying: "Inciting violence is what these channels proclaim. "They show men in masks carrying guns and call them 'resistance'. They're not resistance, they're thugs and criminals," he said. Mr Shawkat said the council's attitude towards the broadcasters hardened after the attempted assassination of council member Aqila al-Hashimi at the weekend. Bremer dilemma Qatar-based al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, which is based in Dubai, have a large team of reporters in Iraq and have earned a wide following across the Arab world. If Mr Bremer endorses a ban, he risks fuelling suspicion the Governing Council is a puppet of the US-led Coalition Authority If he overrules the move, he risks alienating America's allies on the council. Al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya have defended themselves against charges of bias, saying they present the views of all sides. ________________________________________________________________________ Want to chat instantly with your online friends? Get the FREE Yahoo! Messenger http://mail.messenger.yahoo.co.uk _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk