Friday, December 17, 2004
U.S. Designates Al-Manar TV as 'Terrorist'.
WASHINGTON (al-Reuters) - The United States on Friday designated al-Manar television -- the mouthpiece of Lebanon's Hizbollah anti-Israel guerrillas -- a terrorist organization, prompting an end to its U.S. satellite transmissions.
Lebanon's ambassador called the designation unacceptable censorship and an attack on freedom of speech.
The State Department listing came less than a week after France banned broadcasts of al-Manar's satellite channel following accusations that its programs were anti-Semitic and could incite hatred.
The United States already considers Hizbollah a "foreign terrorist organization."
"The designation is to put al-Manar television on the Terrorist Exclusion List because of its incitement of terrorist activity," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
In response to the new designation, al-Manar was removed from the satellite which beamed it into the United States on Friday, the satellite's owner Intelsat told Reuters.