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Al-Jazeera: Syria threatening journalists
Satellite news channel condemns 'campaign of threats' against reporters covering uprisings in Arab world

Al-Jazeera satellite news channel on Sunday condemned what it called a campaign of threats against its journalists because of its coverage of uprisings in the Arab world.

 

"Al-Jazeera presenters have been the targets of a campaign of threats, with in some cases their own safety and that of family members being threatened," the Doha-based channel said in a statement.

 

 

The campaign "is aimed at influencing al-Jazeera's coverage of the uprisings and protests that have swept many Arab countries," it said.

 

"Al-Jazeera now knows the source of these threats which convey nothing but the moral bankruptcy of those behind them."

 

 

The statement did not name the source, but did say it was planning to take legal action.

 

However, a source at the broadcaster said the threats emanated from Syria, which has been rocked by protests calling for the ouster of President Bashar Assad since mid-March.

 

Syrian authorities have sealed off the country to most international media as they crack down on coverage of anti-Assad protests.

 

The authorities there accuse al-Jazeera and other international satellite channels of exaggerating the protests and of broadcasting footage without verifying their authenticity.

 

The pan-Arab satellite television channel has been in hot water with several autocratic Arab regimes over its coverage of uprisings sweeping the region since January.

 

During the protests in Egypt that toppled president Hosni Mubarak, the channel was banned from operating inside the country and nine of its journalists were briefly detained.

 

In Libya, Al-Jazeera cameraman Ali Hassan al-Jaber was killed on March 12 in an ambush near Benghazi which the rebels blamed on Muammar Gaddafi's forces, and several Al-Jazeera journalists have also been arrested covering the revolt.

 

Roee Nahmias contributed to this report

 

 

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