August 4, 2005 | Press Release
Hezbollah’s Al-Manar Television Dropped Again
Hezbollah's Al-Manar Television Dropped Again
GlobeCast ends feed to AsiaSat; Seven satellite companies have now stopped broadcasting al-Manar
Washington, D.C. (August 8, 2005) – GlobeCast, a division of France Telecom, dropped Hezbollah's al-Manar television from its programming to AsiaSat, bringing to seven the number of satellite companies no longer carrying al-Manar. This action removes al-Manar from broadcast to Asia, leaving only two satellite providers in Egypt and Saudi Arabia still airing the station after months of intense advocacy by the Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM).
“This action is important for two reasons,” said Avi Jorisch, senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and executive director of CATM. “First, it prevents al-Manar from broadcasting its message of hatred and violence to Asia, which is becoming a new source and refuge for Islamic terrorism. Second, it isolates al-Manar to just two broadcasters in the Middle East. The decision by seven companies to drop al-Manar sends a clear message that Hezbollah's efforts to use the mass media to recruit suicide bombers, inspire anti-Semitic and anti-American hatred, and incite violence must not be tolerated anywhere in the world.”
As a result of CATM and Jorisch's efforts, al-Manar has been removed from six satellite providers and one distributor: New Skies Satellite (based in Netherlands, broadcast to Europe); Eutelsat (based in France, broadcast to Europe); Intelsat (based in Barbados, broadcast to U.S. and Canada) Hispasat (based in Spain, broadcast to Latin America); TARBS (based in Australia, broadcast to Australia and Asia), AsiaSat (based in Hong Kong, broadcast to Asia), and GlobeCast (based in France, provided feeds of al-Manar to several providers). As a result, al-Manar can no longer be seen in the U.S., Canada, and Central and South America, Asia, Australia, and much of Africa.
Al-Manar is still broadcast to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe by ARABSAT, whose largest stockholder is the government of Saudi Arabia, and Nilesat, owned by the government of Egypt.
“We will now focus all of our efforts on removing al-Manar's message of terrorism from the two remaining satellite providers,” said Jorisch. “Much has been accomplished, but these two satellite companies willingly and knowingly continue to broadcast terror television to millions of viewers. As we saw from the terror attacks in Britain, messages of hatred and violence, when employed by terrorists to recruit and inspire suicide bombers, are just as deadly as weapons and explosives.”
Earlier this month, 51 U.S. Senators signed a letter to President Bush requesting that al-Manar be named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity, which would allow the U.S. government to take action against its sources of funding and organizations that do business with it. In December, 2004, the U.S. State Department added al-Manar to its Terrorism Exclusion List (TEL), which imposed immigration-related restrictions on al-Manar.
Members of the European Union have also taken forceful action against al-Manar. In March, 2004, European audiovisual ministers agreed that al-Manar falls under the Television Without Frontiers directive prohibiting broadcasts that incite hate. In May, French Minister for Culture and Telecommunications Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres called on all European Union members to cease broadcasting al-Manar.
The Coalition Against Terrorist Media is a project of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and includes Muslims, Christians, Jews and secular organizations. Since its formation in the fall of 2004, CATM has met with hundreds of government officials in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East and appeared numerous times in the media. For more information, please visit www.stopterroristmedia.org/.
# # #