June 29, 2005 | Press Release
Spain Says Adios to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar Television
Spain Says Adios to Hezbollah's Al-Manar Television
Spanish Authorities and Hispasat Remove Terror TV from Latin America
Washington, D.C. (June 29, 2005) – The Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM) today praised Spanish-owned Hispasat and Spanish authorities for removing the terrorist group Hezbollah's al-Manar television from broadcast to Latin America.
“This is a major blow to Hezbollah. They have a strong presence in South America, where they launched two major attacks in Argentina and have used the international drug trade to finance terrorism,” said Avi Jorisch, CATM executive director and senior fellow of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “Spain should be praised for recognizing al-Manar's threat and joining with other European nations to remove it from the airwaves.”
“One year ago, very few people recognized how Hezbollah terrorists were creating mass media outlets and using them as operational weapons,” said Jorisch. “Today, the world has not only taken notice, but is taking action.”
The Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism, and Commerce, which oversees the state-owned Hispasat, announced today that al-Manar had been removed from broadcast as of June 23. Jorisch noted that today's announcement was especially timely following reports that Ecuador recently busted a cocaine ring that potentially funneled millions of dollars to Hezbollah [link].
CATM, which brings together Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and secular organizations and was organized by the non-partisan Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, has been advocating action against al-Manar in meetings with hundreds of government officials and public advocacy in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. In Europe, CATM representatives have briefed national audiovisual authorities, the regulatory bodies overseeing broadcasting in Europe, as well as members of the European Parliament, European Commission, Council of Ministers, and officials in France and Spain concerned about al-Manar.
As documented in Jorisch's book Beacon of Hatred, Hezbollah uses al-Manar to recruit suicide bombers and promote hatred and violence around the world. According to one al-Manar official, the station is meant to “help people on the way to committing what you call in the West a suicide mission.” Its broadcasts have included videos glorifying suicide bombers to children, viciously anti-Semitic propaganda, and calls for attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq. In December, 2004, the U.S. State Department added al-Manar to its Terrorist Exclusion List.
As a result of efforts in North America and Europe, al-Manar has been removed from four satellite providers and is no longer broadcast to the United States, Canada, and now South America. Although two European satellite providers (France's Eutelsat and The Netherlands' New Skies Satellite) dropped al-Manar, it still reaches Europe through Saudi-owned Arabsat and Egyptian-owned Nilesat, which also broadcast it to the Middle East and North Africa. Asiasat, based in Hong Kong, broadcasts al-Manar in Asia. France-based GlobeCast, a subsidiary of France Telecom, supplied al-Manar to Hispasat and continues to supply it to Asiasat. Although American companies have stopped advertising on al-Manar, a number of European companies continue to run ads on the station.
For more information on the Coalition Against Terrorist Media, please visit www.stopterroristmedia.org.