Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
United States20 December 2004

Dangerous precedent seen in decision to put Al-Manar on list of terror organisations

Commenting on a US decision to put Al-Manar, the TV station of the Lebanese Shiite organisation Hezbollah, on the list of terrorist organisations, Reporters Without Borders today urged the US authorities to "take care not to lump the fight against anti-Semitism with the fight against terrorism."

"Some of the anti-Semitic statements broadcast on Al-Manar are inexcusable but putting this TV station in the same category as terrorist groups worries us and does not strike us as the best solution," the press freedom organisation said.

Noting that anyone working directly or indirectly with the station will be banned from visiting the United States and those residing in the United States are now threatened with expulsion, Reporters Without Borders asked if the Al-Manar bureau in Washington would be closed and its staff forced to leave the country.

Reporters Without Borders pointed out that the decision also meant that, in the event of war, Al-Manar’s journalists were in danger of being considered belligerents and their bureaux viewed as military targets.

"We fear that this measure could be just the first of many others, and that all news media that have been accused of helping terrorist organisations in their coverage could end up on this list, in which case there will definitely be abuses," Reporters Without Borders added.

The decision to put Al-Manar on the list of terrorist organisations (Terrorist Exclusion List) was announced by the US Department of State on 17 December. Spokesman Richard Boucher said the decision was taken because of "its incitement of terrorist activity."

The US authorities said anyone with links with Al-Manar would be refused a visa to enter the United States or would subjected to expulsion procedures if they were already on US territory. Al-Manar was removed from the satellite which beamed it into the United States on Friday, the satellite’s owner Intelsat told Reuters agency.

On 13 December, the French authorities ordered the satellite operator Eutelsat to stop relaying Al-Manar within 48 hours, saying its programming had "a militant perspective with anti-Semitic connotations." They also cited the need to preserve public order as a reason for the decision.

In this country
14 May - United States
Arraignment of suspected mastermind of Chauncey Bailey’s murder postponed again
14 May - United States
Obama opposes release of torture photos
6 May - United States
“To combat Internet censorship, companies cannot be left to act on their own”
4 May - United States
Yusuf Bey IV indicted in Chauncey Bailey’s murder
2 May - United States
Reporters Without Borders welcomes President’s statement in honor of World Press Freedom Day

in the annual report
United States - Annual Report 2008
United States - Annual report 2007
United States - Annual report 2006

14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro