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]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Iraq council 'to ban Arab networks' (BBC)

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
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!

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]