Al-Jazeera Banned in Baghdad

nym | 08:23 AM

The Iraqi interim government has shut down the Baghdad bureau of Al-Jazeera, claiming that they are inciting violence. The ban is for 30 days, but is renewable according to the independent.

Reporters Without Borders has gone on the record as saying "We are extremely concerned about persistent episodes of censorship in Iraq", and brings up the fact that "the government has obstructed Al-Jazeera's work before" [Reporters Without Borders]. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi claims the move is "to protect the people of Iraq". Al-Naqib said the closure was intended to give the station "a chance to readjust their policy against Iraq". Al-Jazeera officials are calling this "An ominous violation of freedom" [Guardian].

Sulli says "Meet the new boss...".

"Interior minister Falah al-Naqib declared that the order was aimed at protecting Iraqis and that the government did not want Al-Jazeera or anyone else endangering civil peace in Iraq. The minister had said a few days earlier that some stations were encouraging kidnapping by showing pictures of hostages under threat of execution." [near near future]

"Falah al-Naqib, the Interior Minister, who last week declared that al-Jazeera was "strengthening" kidnappers and hostage-takers by showing their videos, said the month in which its Baghdad office would be closed down would give it the chance "to readjust its policy agenda". He accused the station of encouraging "criminals and gangsters to do their activities in the country", and said the station transmitted "a bad picture of Iraq"." [The New Zealand Herald]

It appears that almost no American news sources are carrying the story. The only exceptions are a four paragraph blurb about the situation in the Winston-Salem Journal and a satirical site named "The Daily Farce". As the Daily Farce says:


Updated @ 11:11 for clarity and to remove editorials

[Link via near near future]