Syria condemns Arab League satellite ban
Published Tuesday, June 5, 2012
The Syrian government on Tuesday condemned an Arab League decision to ban the country's satellite channels, state media reported.
The state run SANA quoted cabinet members as saying the decision was a "violation of the freedom of information and satellite broadcasting laws."
It said that the decision "does not relate to the media codes of ethics as well."
The Arab League demanded on Saturday that the two major satellite operators Arabsat and Nilesat remove the Syrian channels they offered from their packages.
The SANA report said the Ministry of Information had been asked to draw up a list of potential legal measures against the two operators, which could include banning them from Syria.
Earlier on Tuesday, Syrian journalists held a sit-in protest against the decision, with the head of the media union Elias Murad saying it enabled Western media to misrepresent the situation in the country.
A media war has been fought between Syrian regime loyalists and opposition activists since the uprising began a year ago.
The crisis has also polarized regional media, with Qatar's Al Jazeera suffering a number of resignations from senior journalists who accused the channel of bias and undermining journalistic integrity.
Syria maintained a media ban at the beginning of the crisis, but has allowed some journalists to enter in line with the UN peace plan.
Damascus has also detained local Syrian journalists, including Mazen Darwich, Director of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression.