The Syrian foreign ministry on Sunday slammed the decision of the Arab League (AL) to halt the broadcast of Syria’s official and private TVs on Arab satellites as “an unprecedented political decision” that flagrantly contradicts the principles of freedom of the press.
In a letter sent to UN Secretary General, the Head of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, the ministry stressed that the AL decision blatantly violates the principles of media work and is inconsistent with the freedom of access to information.
“It also is a real contradiction with the six-point plan of the international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan,” the letter added.
On June 2, the AL Council on the ministerial level issued a decision at its extraordinary session in the Qatari capital of Doha, asking the administrations of the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) and the Egyptian Satellite Company (Nilesat) to take necessary measures to cease the broadcast of official and unofficial Syrian TV satellite channels.
The Syrian state-run news agency said the decision is “shameful.”
Meanwhile, the country’s foreign ministry said that since March 25, 2012, over 207 media outlets from all over the world have entered Syria in addition to over 100 correspondents permanently accredited in Syria.
The ministry reiterated commitment to Annan’s plan concerning the entry of media outlets to Syria, highlighting the necessity for international bodies to take suitable stances towards the AL decision as it constitutes a flagrant violation of the freedom of the press and an attempt to stop the Syrian national media.
Observers believe that the decision came to keep the Syrian leadership from communication with the people as it happened in Libya last year, when the AL had managed to censure the Libyan TV for the same reason.
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