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Saudi Arabien afviser DJ og den frie presses protester

Den Qatar-baserede tv-station Al Jazeera er truet af lukning. Ikke af økonomiske årsager, men som følge af et massivt politisk pres fra nabolande til Qatar for, at styret i det mellemøstlige land skal lukke ned for Al Jazeera.

aljazeera

Al Jazeera logo

Den toneangivende part i dette storpolitiske spil er Saudi Arabien, men styret her bakkes op af andre mellemøstlige lande i holdningen, at Al Jazeera skal lukkes.

Dette anser Dansk Journalistforbund for at være et overgreb mod frie medier – et synspunkt, forbundet deler med andre nationale forbund, med Det Internationale Journalistforbund, menneskerettighedsorganisationer samt FN.

Tirsdag morgen (4. juli) rettede DJ’s formand, Lars Werge, derfor henvendelse til Saudi Arabiens ambassadør i Danmark, Fahad M. Alruwaily, med en opfordring til, at hans land holder op med at blande sig i frie mediers gøren og laden – i særdeleshed, når disse medier befinder sig i andre lande.

I brevet kan man blandt andet læse denne opfordring:

I ask you to do, whatever is in your power, to stop this pressure on another country to close down a media network like Al Jazeera.”

Afvisning fra ambassaden

Onsdag sidst på dagen (5. juli) modtog DJ svar fra ambassadøren. Dette svar kan kort betegnes som en fuldstændig afvisning med en oplistning af en række grunde til, hvorfor Saudi Arabien mener, at Al Jazeera bør lukkes. Se brevet nederst.

”Jeg er som sådan ikke overrasket over den saudiarabiske ambassadørs svar til mig. Men det er godt nok beskæmmende at læse hans, og dermed hans lands, opfattelse af betydningen af frie medier,” siger Lars Werge.

DJ har tidligere rettet henvendelse til såvel danske ministre som til udenlandske ambassadører i Danmark i lignende sager; senest i forbindelse med forholdene for medier og journalister i Tyrkiet.

”I DJ skal vi fortsat skal lægge et pres på myndighederne, når vi opdager og oplever disse forsøg på overgreb mod medier. I sig selv fører det måske ikke til noget, men ambassadørerne må omvendt ikke være i tvivl om, hvordan vi ser på presse- og ytringsfriheden her i Danmark,” tilføjer Lars Werge, der opfordrer den danske regering til at tage en alvorssnak med Saudi Arabien og andre lande, der truer Al Jazeera.

Onsdag udløb deadline, som Saudi Arabien og de øvrige lande har givet Qatar for at lukke Al Jazeera. Dette betyder ifølge flere nyhedsmedier en optrapning af konflikterne i området – læs fx til baggrund denne artikel fra New York Times.

Hele brevet fra Lars Werge til Saudi Arabiens ambassadør i Danmark

Dear Ambassador fahad bin maayov alruwaily,

I write to you in order to urge you to use your influence in your home Country, to tell the Saudi Arabian Government, that their aim of closing down the media Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, is a wrong path to down.

In the National Danish union of Journalists, of which I am the president, we are against such attempts of closing down media in other countries. We struggle for free media and for the press freedom, wherever it is under strain.

This world need more, not less, free media, and right now it seems to be in the hands of your country to secure this.

I shall therefore ask you to do, whatever is in your power, to stop this pressure on another country to close down a media network like Al Jazeera. I will of course be delighted to share views and knowledge with you, if necessary. Feel free to contact me.

Best regards, Lars Werge President, National Union of Journalists, Dansk Journalistforbund

Svar fra ambassadør Fahad M. Alruwaily

Dear Mr. Lars Werge

President of National Union of Journalists

Dansk Journalistforbund

      I received your letter dated 4th of July 2017 regarding Aljazeera media network.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to write the letter and to bring to your kind notice the following:
 

  • Aljazeera network is neither an independent nor a free media network. It is a part of Qatari government, fully directed and financed by the government. It is also known to be biased and rarely covers or criticizes the violations of rights or freedoms of Qatari citizens and residents in Qatar, (one example was fully ignoring the case of the Qatari poet Alajmi who was sentenced in Qatar in 2013 to 15 years in jail for a poem he published online criticizing the Qatari ruling family, he served 4 years in prison before being pardoned under wide calls of international NGOs).  
     
  • Links of Aljazeera to terrorist organizations and its support and propaganda for terrorist groups are well-documented. Some of its correspondents were arrested or fined by court decision for supporting terrorism and violent and extremist groups in several countries including Spain, USA, Egypt, and Morocco. Its offices abroad were closed several times and in many countries on similar charges.
     
  • Aljazeera was proved of having strong relations with international terrorist and violent groups including Al-Qaida , ISIS, Alnusrah, Hizbullah, Huthis, Ikhwan and several other organizations.
     
  • Aljazeera was found repeatedly responsible for being a platform for terrorist and extremist activities, as well as preaching violent and hatred messages that have been helping terrorist organizations for the recruitment of youth in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere, including interviews, bias documentaries and false reports.    
     

    The requests regarding Aljazeera TV were not made only by Saudi Arabia. It was the demand of Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other countries, and they came after several and extensive fruitless communications and diplomatic efforts with Qatari government to change this destructive conduct of the channel.

    I thank you once again Mr. Lars Werge, and if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards.

Fahad

Fahad M. Alruwaily

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Kingdom of Denmark.