Dear Dr Fawzi
Though I dearly enjoy reading your fantastic, witty and very politically incorrect articles on Arab Times web site, I am often disappointed not to see this hilarity not extended to our "patriotic and wondeful" leader Saddam Hussain & his gang in my beloved Baghdad. I do hope that this does'nt indicate your approval of this gang of murderers. I think, in my humble openion as a simple Arab, that you should take the view that all regiems in the middle east are CORRUPT, DICTATORIAL and moden time seems to have passed them by .. WITHOUT EXCEPTIONS. Once you take this correct view then I think you'll be on the right track
God May Protect You
My Best Regards
Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA Phone: (212) 465-1004 Fax:
(212) 465-9568 Web: www.cpj.org E-Mail:
August 8, 2002
His Excellency Ali Abu al-Ragheb
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Via facsimile: 962-6-464-2520
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) strongly protests your
government's closure of the Amman bureau of the Qatar-based satellitetelevision channel Al-Jazeera.
On August 7, Information Minister Muhammad Adwan revoked the station's
license to operate in Jordan and barred its staff from working for the
station in the country. The move came after a guest on that day's broadcast
of the debate program "Opposite Direction" criticized Jordan's relationship
International reports said Adwan accused the station of inciting "sedition"
in Jordan and "defaming" the royal family.
Staff at the station said they only learned about the closure after theofficial news agency Petra reported the minister's statements.
Regrettably, this is not the first time Jordanian authorities have censored
the station. In 1998, the Amman bureau was shut down for several weeks afterparticipants in another talk show debate criticized Jordan.
The closure of Al-Jazeera's office clearly violates basic international
norms for free expression and also contradicts the public statements of
Jordanian officials who have supported freedom of expression; His Majesty
King Abdullah has repeatedly stated over the years that "the sky is thelimit" for press freedom in Jordan.
However, the government's intolerance of critical discourse, demonstrated by
this most recent closure, indicates that Jordan is far from achieving basic
standards of press freedom that are the hallmark of open societies.
As a nonpartisan organization of journalists dedicated to defending press
freedom worldwide, CPJ urges you to ensure that Al-Jazeera's office reopens
immediately, and that its staff can carry out their professional duties
without future interference from Jordanian authorities.
Thank you for your attention to these important matters. We await your
American Society of Newspaper Editors
Article 19 (United Kingdom)
Artikel 19 (The Netherlands)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Human Rights Watch
Index on Censorship
International Center for Journalists
International Federation of Journalists
International Press Institute
Lorne W. Craner, United States Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human
Rights, and Labor
The Newspaper Guild
The North American Broadcasters Association
Overseas Press Club
Reporters Sans FrontiŤres
Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Society of Professional Journalists
World Association of Newspapers
World Press Freedom Committee
Middle East and North Africa
Committee to Protect Journalists
330 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10001
Tel: (212) 465-1004, x-104
Fax: (212) 465-9568