FIDH condemns the closure of Al Jazeera Office

16/12/2010
Press release

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) expresses its deep concern following the closure of the office of Al Jazeera, the Qatari satellite channel information, in Kuwait as well as the withdrawal of accreditation of Al Jazeera’s journalists, upon a decision from the Kuwaiti Government.

This is not the first time Al Jazeera suffers censorship from the Kuwaiti government as the channel had already been forbidden to exercise in Kuwait from November 2002 to May 2005 after the publication of images considered detrimental to the country.

On Monday, December 13, 2010, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information decided to close the offices of Al Jazeera in Kuwait.
The move comes after the recent release of images of a violent crackdown by riot police of a rally organized by members of the parliament. At least one of the protesters is reported to have been severly injured.
According to the letter sent to Saad al-Saeedi, Head of the chain in the country, the government rebukes Al Jazeera’s "coverage of recent events and their interference in domestic affairs. "

FIDH deplores that this new incident confirms a trend in the region that seriously undermines freedom of the press and freedom of expression, as the decision made by the Kuwaiti authorities echoes the recent decision by the Moroccan Ministry of Communication to close the office of Al Jazeera and to withdraw the accreditation of its journalists.

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