Al Jazeera Arabic slammed for ‘normalizing terrorism’ over Burkina Faso attack coverage

Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera Arabic has triggered an angry backlash over ‘normalizing terrorism.’ (Reuters)
Updated 06 March 2018

Al Jazeera Arabic slammed for ‘normalizing terrorism’ over Burkina Faso attack coverage

LONDON: Al Jazeera Arabic has come under fire for “normalizing terrorism” in its coverage of an attack on the French embassy in Burkina Faso.
Two attacks in the capital Ouagadougou, one of them targeting the French embassy, left 16 dead and at least 80 wounded last week. An affiliate of Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.
Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of Cornerstone Global, a management consultancy focused on the Middle East, claims Al Jazeera reporting on the Burkina Faso terrorist attack was skewed.
“Al Jazeera Arabic . . . refuses to call Al-Qaeda “terrorists,” instead says “whom authorities describe as terrorists,” he tweeted. “Common with Al Jazeera normalizing terrorism in eyes of its readers.”
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt cut ties with Qatar last June claiming the country supported international terror networks and that the Doha-based Al Jazeera broadcaster was a propaganda tool of that support.
Qatar and Al Jazeera deny the claims.
Abdellatif El-Menawy, an Egyptian media analyst, said the coverage of the attack served as a reminder that “Aljazeera has always been a platform for Al-Qaeda.”
After the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the US, Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language channel was accused of being a “mouthpiece” for Osama bin Laden, because of its willingness to air Al-Qaeda video messages and what was perceived by some as an anti-American bias.
El-Menawy said that such content presented as “scoops” in fact underscored its editorial agenda.
He said that the broadcaster had also “made excuses for other terrorist groups,” in Libya, Egypt and Syria.
He added that the Doha-based network avoided describing groups such as Al-Qaeda as terrorists preferring to say that they have “been described as terrorists.”
Aljazeera declined to comment.


Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

Updated 20 October 2020

Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

  • Thailand said on Monday that three other media organizations are under investigation
  • Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters

BANGKOK: A Thai court on Tuesday ordered the suspension of an online TV station critical of the government, which has accused it of violating emergency measures aimed at ending three months of protests.
Voice TV had also been found to have breached the Computer Crime Act by uploading “false information,” digital ministry spokesman Putchapong Nodthaisong told reporters.
Thailand has drawn criticism from rights groups for banning demonstrations and the publication of news seen as damaging by the government as it tries to end the protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy.
Rittikorn Mahakhachabhorn, Editor-in-Chief of Voice TV, said it would continue broadcasting until the court order arrived.
“We insist that we have been operating based on journalistic principles and we will continue our work presently,” he said.
Thailand said on Monday that three other media organizations are under investigation.
Voice TV is owned in part by the Shinawatra family of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was overthrown by Prayuth in a 2014 coup. Both fled Thailand to escape corruption cases they branded political.
Street protests since mid-July are the biggest challenge in decades to the monarchy under King Maha Vajiralongkorn and to Prayuth, who rejects accusations of engineering an election last year to keep power.
The demonstrations have been largely led by youths and students in contrast with a decade of street violence between supporters of Thaksin and conservative royalists before Prayuth seized power.
Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters, including many of the main leaders.
A lawyer for two of them, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, said they would be arrested again on Tuesday as soon as they had been freed on bail granted by a court over earlier charges related to the protests.
Prime Minister Prayuth has said he will not quit in the face of the protests.
His cabinet agreed on Tuesday to hold an emergency session of parliament next week about the crisis. Prayuth’s supporters hold a majority in the parliament, whose upper house was named entirely by his former junta.