Iraqi free press

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by bamthin, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. bamthin
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    bamthin Guest

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    Isn't freedom of the press something that we are supposed to be giving the Iraqis?

    I'm not sure we are setting a good example doing this.



    Iraqi Council Bans Al-Jazeera For One Month

    Saturday, January 31, 2004



    BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council has barred the Arab news channel Al-Jazeera (search) from government offices and news conferences for one month, the council said in a statement Saturday.

    The ban on one of the most popular television news stations in the Middle East went into effect Wednesday and is punishment for the disrespect the station allegedly showed toward prominent Iraqis, according to the statement. It is the second such ban against Al-Jazeera since September.

    Al-Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout (search) told The Associated Press that "it's yet another unfortunate situation."

    "Al-Jazeera is trying to ascertain exactly what happened with a view to rectify the matter, because we believe it is advantageous to the media as well as the governing council," Ballout said from Qatar, where Al-Jazeera is based. "All that Al-Jazeera wants is to do its job professionally."

    According to the council's statement, Al-Jazeera has shown "disrespect to Iraq and its people and harmed prominent religious and national figures."

    The statement listed senior Shiite clerics Mohsen al-Hakim (search) and his sons Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim and Mohammed Mahdi al-Hakim as among those whose memory have been tarnished by Al-Jazeera. It also mentioned Mustafa Barzani, the late father of Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani.

    The statement did not say when Al-Jazeera is supposed to have committed the offenses but regional news reports have cited the station's controversial program "The Opposite Direction," or "Ittigah al-Moakis."

    Adnan Pachachi, the Governing Council's current president, described the ban as a warning to Al-Jazeera for what he said was a "very abusive" program. He told a news conference that he hoped Al-Jazeera would in the future refrain from such "inflammatory" material.

    In September, the Governing Council imposed a two-week ban on Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, a Dubai-based news channel, because it suspected the stations had violated rules that include not disclosing information about pending attacks on American troops.

    Both channels have in the past broadcast audio tapes and statements purported to be from Saddam Hussein and footage showing alleged resistance fighters vowing to continue attacks on U.S. troops.

    Al-Arabiya's Baghdad offices were also raided in November by police and its broadcasts from Iraq were banned following the airing of another tape by Saddam, who was captured Dec. 13. The ban was lifted this week.



    -Bam
     
  2. eric
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    Yes once the country is stabilized ! Right now we don't need a de-stabilizing influence when our men and women are dying over there ! There are priorities and right now security takes precendence over a free press !
     
  3. jimnyc
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    Good call, I couldn't agree more.
     
  4. Moi
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    First of all, who is we? What I thought the "Iraqi governing council" was made up of was Iraqis. Secondly, there are many places that the press is banned...court rooms, congressional hearings, the oval office, etc. So what?

    Freedom of the press doesn't mean the press is free to enter every government buildng.
     
  5. bamthin
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    I think they are actually banned from press conferences. In my opinion, kicking them out is a bad thing because it adds to the general feeling of mistrust towards the US.

    How will the people believe what the US blessed press is saying when a viable, popular news outlet from the Middle East has been banned?

    -Bam
     
  6. jimnyc
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    I believe I read there were over 150 news outlets now in Iraq. I think they'll see it for what it is when they have 149 let in and one forbidden. The citizens aren't going to miss out on anything due to this penalty.
     
  7. eric
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    Maybe I should repeat my post. Right now this is not a priority !

    Your really believe they are an unbiased news source anyway ?
     
  8. Moi
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    Well, once again, the US didn't ban them. They were banned by Iraq's current government. Secondly, they are one of many news agencies. Being banned from a press conference isn't going to eliminate their ability to publish news. It means that they will have to use other sources. In the grand scheme of things, it's not all that sigificant a penalty and anyone who thinks differently about the US after this is just plain ignorant.
     
  9. AtlantaWalter
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    ..(or some other "right" we currently possess)

    Will the Homeland Insecurity people someday be telling Americans the same thing I wonder?!
     
  10. Moi
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    I don't know. But what happens in Iraq by Iraqi's is not the bell weather of what happens here.

    Besides, we have an established government here which relies on a checks and balances system. I would sincerely doubt that we would start eliminating anyone's rights. And, no, that's not what the Patriot Act does.
     

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