Al Jazeera stands up for free speech

by Sunny
21st February, 2008 at 1:39 am    

Yesterday’s Media Guardian had this article:

The head of al-Jazeera has launched a scathing attack on Middle East governments, accusing them of framing new laws giving them powers to close down the Arabic-language news channel and other broadcasters. Wadah Khanfar, al-Jazeera’s director general, said a charter published last week by the Arab League, which represents 22 states in the Middle East, is the most serious threat to media freedom in the region for more than a decade.

“Who is going to decide if a leader in a particular country has been ‘insulted’? In this region, regimes have never been in favour of a free press or freedom of expression, so to hand over to them the right to decide [who broadcasts what] is very dangerous,” Khanfar added.

Most seriously, al-Jazeera believes the charter could give Middle East governments the power to switch off satellite signals and force broadcasters off air. All satellite broadcasters rely on just two groups; Arabsat, based in Saudi Arabia, and Egypt’s NileSat.

All kudos to them in my view. The Middle East won’t get anywhere without more freedom and democracy.

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Filed in: Current affairs,Media,Middle East

4 Comments below   |  

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  1. platinum786 — on 21st February, 2008 at 8:42 am  

    The Chinese seem to have done alright with zero democracy. Why is it so hard to understand that entire civilizations exist without democracy. Do you think it’d make a massive difference if we stopped having elections in Britain? Nobody listens to us anyway!

  2. platinum786 — on 21st February, 2008 at 8:44 am  

    Oh btw i feel freedom of speech for the Media, is very important, especially in the middle east.

  3. marvin — on 21st February, 2008 at 1:31 pm  

    The Middle East won’t get anywhere without more freedom and democracy.


  4. Nyrone — on 21st February, 2008 at 5:03 pm  

    100% agree with Wadah Khanfar, that charter is a joke.
    They have to “conform with the religious and ethical values of Arab society” gime me a break…

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