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Old November 26th, 2008 #26
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,375
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

[Germany Bans Al-Manar TV]

More Condemnations for German Decision to Ban Al-Manar

25/11/2008 Four days on the German "strange" and "political" decision to ban Al-Manar Television on the grounds that it "violates the country's constitution," condemnations and denunciations annexed to support declarations predominated.

On Tuesday, the National Council of media held a meeting to discuss the German decision against Al-Manar. The head of the Council Abdul Hadi Mahfouz revealed that the mentioned decision came out following a meeting that joined the German Interior Minister to the Israeli Minister for Internal Security Avi Dichter.

Mahfouz concluded that the decision comes in the framework of a general policy that seeks to "abolish" the Resistance media outlets. He announced to the Council members and media representatives that he has held a meeting with the informative envoy in the German embassy and discussed with him the repercussions of such a decision.

The council called on to adopt tangible steps, such as opening dialogue with the European Union about freedom of expression, to oppose the German decision as a necessary move to protect the other Lebanese media outlets and prevent Arab and Western states of taking any similar measure against them.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese Information Minister Tarek Mitri renewed on Tuesday his solidarity with Al-Manar in regards to the German decision, expressing astonishment for the ban's decision. He pointed out that the decision was legally weak, since it was issued by an Interior Minister, not even the Information one.

Speaking to Al-Manar, Mitri pointed out that the impact of the decision on Al-Manar was a moral one, recalling that people would be able to receive the channel from their homes. However, he deemed that resorting to judicial authorities was the best and favorable step to be taken for now.

Mitri has called on Monday Al-Manar's General Director Abdallah Kassir and told him that the German measure taken against the Lebanese TV station was strange and unacceptable. According to Mitri, the German decision does not harmonize with the freedom of expression believed to be an evident right in the democratic societies.

But former MP Nasser Kandil expressed wishes that Mitri translates his position of solidarity with Al-Manar through raising the issue within the cabinet in the next session in order to present an official protest against the German decision as an insult to the bilateral relations. In a statement, Kandil compared between the aggressions Al-Manar TV was subject to from the part of many European countries and the facilities offered to the Zionist media that propagates extremist incitements.

For his part, MP Mostafa Hussein condemned the German decision, and said it was unfair with respect to the channel and its supporters, calling on the Lebanese government to deal with the German media outlets similarly.

The German decision was also denounced by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement as unethical and despotic.

On Friday, Germany has banned Al-Manar television station on grounds that it violates the country's constitution, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Friday. The Al-Manar ban prevents German satellite television companies from offering the channel.

The channel's administration has issued on Saturday a statement in which it declared that the ban's decision was strange. "Al-Manar channel has always abided by all the observed laws, it assumed its role with responsibility and professionalism," the statement noted, adding that it has always been and is still a target for the American and Zionist unfair policies only because it played an efficient and operative role.