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Middle East
Bahrain blocks Al Jazeera team
Government bans Al Jazeera journalists from operating, citing "breach of media norms".
Last Modified: 19 May 2010 16:29 GMT
Bahrain's government said Al Jazeera had 'breached media norms and laws' [GALLO/GETTY]

The government of Bahrain has issued a decree to shut down Al Jazeera's bureau in the capital, Manama, citing what it called the TV channel's "breach of media norms".

In a statement on Tuesday, Bahrain's culture and information ministry accused the network of "flouting the laws regulating the press and publishing" in the country.

The statement came as Bahraini authorities prevented an Al Jazeera team from entering the country on Tuesday to interview Yvo De Boer, who recently resigned as the UN climate chief.

'Counter opinions'

Bahrain's official news agency, citing the ministry, said the channel will continue to be blocked from operating in Bahrain until an agreement is reached that includes permission for Bahraini media to work in Qatar, where Al Jazeera is based.

"The freeze will continue until a memorandum of understanding outlining the relations between the ministry and the channel, which preserves the rights of both parties in accordance with the principal of reciprocity in practice of journalism and media, is reached between the two countries," the statement said.

The ministry statement did not specify a specific reason for the decree. But the order came after Al Jazeera aired a report on poverty in Bahrain on Monday.

Al Jazeera, which does not have a bureau in Manama, expressed its regret for the decision, but said the network had not received any official intimation.

The company said its editorial policy and professional style in dealing with events and issues have not changed.

Al Jazeera is always committed to the logo it declared since the first day of its launch, that is "Equal opportunity for opinions and counter opinions", the network said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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