Aljazeera under attack

The re-arrest of correspondent Taysir Alluni has once again highlighted the issue of press freedom, in particular the hostile treatment of Aljazeera's journalists.

    The Arabic channel has caused offence in east and west

    In the past three years alone, Aljazeera has come under repeated pressure for its uncompromising reporting.

    This has ranged from physical - sometimes fatal - attacks, intolerable working conditions, and accusations of irresponsible and biased journalism from western and Middle Eastern governments.

    Aljazeera is currently banned from operating a bureau or sending correspondents to many countries.

    Timeline of antagonism:

    18 November 2004: Aljazeera reporter Taysir Alluni was rearrested by Spanish police.


    7 August 2004: The interim Iraqi government announces a one-month closure of Aljazeera's Baghdad office. The closure was extended indefinitely and remains imposed until the current time.


    21 May 2004: An Aljazeera television worker, Rashid Hamid Wali, was killed while filming clashes in the flashpoint Iraqi city of Karbala.


    12 April 2004: US army chief spokesman Brigadier-General Mark Kimmitt called Aljazeera and other Arab media outlets the "anti-coalition media" and  advised viewers to "change the channel".


    9 April 2004:

    Aljazeera journalists come under fire in the flashpoint Iraqi town of Falluja.

    28 January 2004: Iraq's US-installed interim Governing Council prohibits Aljazeera from covering its activities for one month. "Aljazeera was forbidden from covering from January 28 to February 27," the channel's Baghdad bureau chief, Abd al-Haq Saddah, said.

    3 November 2003:


    US forces arrest an Aljazeera cameraman in Iraq for the second time in less than a month. Salah Hasan was arrested only minutes after he had arrived at the scene of explosions in Baquba.


    5 September 2003: Aljazeera correspondent Taysir Alluni is arrested by Spanish authorities.

    8 April 2003: Baghdad correspondent Tariq Ayub is killed after US shells struck the Aljazeera office in Baghdad.

    25 March 2003: Aljazeera business correspondents are refused access to the New York Stock Exchange from where they normally report. NYSE officials blame the network's coverage of the war on Iraq for its decision.

    23 March 2003: Aljazeera's Arabic and English language websites are brought down by a hacker attack.

    March 2003: French authorities summon Aljazeera officials from the Paris bureau to discuss the network's coverage of the war on Iraq, specifically the airing of captured US soldiers.

    March 2002: Aljazeera cameramen are detained in Cairo, Egypt, for covering student demonstrations in support of the Palestinian intifada. Aljazeera was the only media organisation to cover the demonstrations.

    November 2002: Kuwait bans Aljazeera for the second time for a report about US troops based in the Gulf state. Kuwaiti officials said the report gave Kuwait a bad image.

    November 2002: Bahrain closes Aljazeera's office. The Bahraini minister of information tells a Saudi newspaper that Aljazeera is a "Zionist Israeli entity" out to destroy Arab unity.

    December 2001: Aljazeera cameraman Sami Haj is arrested by US forces and taken to Guantanamo Bay. He remains there to this day.

    December 2001: Aljazeera correspondent Yasir Abu Hilala is arrested in Jordan for covering a demonstration in support of Usama bin Ladin.

    November 2001: US forces bomb Aljazeera's office in Kabul, Afghanistan, shortly after the Aljazeera crew received a tip-off to evacuate the bureau.

    September 2001: US agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), seize servers hosting the Aljazeera website from a Dallas-based company.

    March 2001: The Palestinian Authority closes the Aljazeera office in Ram Allah after the airing of a documentary about the Lebanese civil war. The office has since reopened.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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