Aljazeera 'outraged' at Iraq criticism

Aljazeera has expressed outrage after the interim Iraqi foreign minister attacked its coverage of events in Iraq saying the interim government is considering closing down the channel's Baghdad bureau.

    Zibari said Aljazeera was 'inciting' the situation in Iraq

    Hoshyar Zibari

    accused Aljazeera, along with other Arabic language satellite channels, of "incitement" and hiding behind media freedoms.

    Zibari said the channel's coverage of Iraq was "one-sided" and "distorted".

    He made the comments in an interview with an Aljazeera correspondent

    during an offcial visit to Moscow on Sunday.

    "They [Aljazeera and other Arabic channels] have all become incitement channels which are against the interests of security, the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people," Zibari said.

    He added "the new Iraqi government will not tolerate these kinds of

    intentional breaches and violations".

    Aljazeera condemnation

    However, shortly after the interview Aljazeera issued a statement condemning Zibari's comments, calling them "tantamount

    to incitement against the channel and its staff working in Iraq".

    "Aljazeera would have hoped that the Iraqi government would embark on its new term with initiatives to lift media restrictions, not add new ones that would certainly not be conducive to freedom of the press and expression."

    "Aljazeera would have hoped that the Iraqi government would embark on its new term with initiatives to lift media restrictions, not add new ones that would certainly not be conducive to freedom of the press and expression"

    Aljazeera statement

    The statement added "these kind of allegations will not prevent the channel from pursuing its long cherished editorial independence, and it reiterates its adherence to its professional principles and internationallly recognised media practises."

    Aljazeera has been regularly criticised for its coverage of Iraq by foreign occupation forces as well as different Iraqi groups.

    They have been particulalry upset by its coverage of anti-occupation violence and Iraqi resistance groups.

    But Aljazeera, which is perhaps the most influential media organisation among Iraqis, says the fact it is being attacked from all sides proves its commitment to editorial balance and fairness

    .

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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