New York, February 3, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists called for Saudi-run satellite operator Arabsat to return to air the Iranian-owned Arabic-language satellite channel Al-Alam, which stopped broadcasting January 27 without prior notice, according to international news reports.
In a statement published on its Web site, Al-Alam said that “Arabsat, in continuation of its censorship policies and as a move to confront the news networks which reflect the realities of the world, has today once again cut broadcasting of the Al-Alam network.” Al-Alam was previously taken off the air by both Arabsat and the Cairo-based satellite service provider Nilesat in November. Both cited a contractual breach without elaborating further.
According to a statement
“We urge Arabsat
officials to resolve any outstanding technical difficulties they may have and
put Al-Alam back on the air as soon as possible,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem,
CPJ's Middle East and
Al-Alam has been a
vocal critic of
The Yemeni government has been engaged in a years-long fight against disenfranchised Shia rebels in the north of the country.
Arabsat did not respond to CPJ’s repeated requests for comment.