The Lebanese Communication Group (Al-Manar Channel and Al-Nour Radio) has officially apologized to the Bahraini Information Affairs Authority (IAA) for the its past coverage of news relating to Bahrain.
The apology was published and announced at the 90th meeting of the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) General Assembly executive board in the presence of member states. In its statement, The Lebanese Communication Group pledged to commit, in the future, to objectivity in covering Arab news and events and abide by professional standards.
It affirmed keenness to subject its editorial line to periodic review to ensure its compliance with international professional covenants, treaties and accredited professional standards. It also vowed to rectify anything deviating from this professional framework and work towards preserving good relations with all Arabs, particularly the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The heads of Arab delegations commended the step, lauding Bahrain for accepting the apology of the Lebanese Communication Group. ASBU director-general read the apology statement along with the decision of ASBU General Assembly assigning him to follow-up the implementation of the commitment expressed by the Lebanese Communication Group.
ASBU director-general has also been mandated to take action against the Lebanese Communication Group in case it reneges on its commitment to professional media standards and the deontology code of ethics, as well as the international covenants and treaties.
The Kingdom of Bahrain submitted a demand asking the Arab League General-Secretariat to abrogate the membership of the Lebanese Communication Group (Al-Manar Channel and Al-Nour Radio) at Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU).
The Arab information ministers’ council had also approved the recommendation of the executive board and referred it to the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), being the concerned highest authority to scrutinize the issue and take the necessary decision.
The Lebanese group is owned by the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant organization which has ben accused of meddling in the internal affairs of Bahrain.
Photo: Supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah wave Bahraini and Hezbollah flags during the speech of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah at a rally in Beirut, Lebanon on March 19, 2011, during which Nasrallah expressed support to the people of Bahrain who rose against the regime. Nasrallah criticized the sending of Arab troops to Bahrain saying these forces were sent to defend a regime that is not in danger. (AP Photo / Bilal Hussein)