Syria protests French ban on Hizbullah's Al Manar TV
Syria's Information Minister Mehdi Dakhlallah on Wednesday described the French decision to ban the transmission of the Lebanese satellite TV channel, al-Manar, as a "dangerous development" that contradicts the democratic principles of information and tolerance.
He added that the "issue is a new attempt to pressure and intimidate the Arab media circles in order to meet Israel’s desires and those of the Zionist wave which is taking momentum on all levels on the international life including the media."
According to SANA, he said that what happened was an "expression of anti Arab Semitism and with Zionist and racist motives," and is substantially an act directed against freedom of the press, and therefore the harm is being done to the world circles which are calling for interaction, tolerance, accepting the other, and spreading the humanitarian truth.
For its part, the Information Ministry authorized Syria’s representative at the Arab Radios Federation to put this issue on the agenda of the next meeting of the federation with the aim of taking a unified stance of solidarity with the Al Manar TV channel.
Al-Manar is the official arm of Lebanon's Hizbullah. The French move was taken after it aired a report claiming that Israel had spread HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and other diseases across the Arab world. A second report called for war against Jews and the destruction of Israel.