The European Union has imposed sanctions on Syria’s Al-Dounia TV channel. The decision has provoked a strong response from Lebanon’s Al Manar TV, itself often criticised for its lack of balance in its broadcasting.
Europeans are forbidden to do business with the Syrian channel, along with similar proscriptions against Syria’s largest cellular operator (Syriatel) and some construction and investment companies, each with close links to the Syrian regime.
In a statement, Al Manar, which is backed by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, says the EU decision “contradicts with the principle of free speech” and that “the freedom and democracy principle is just a slogan used by EU States as long as it serves their policies and interests. The decision also establishes the policy pursued by those countries based on double standards.”
Also on Sept 28 the Federation of Arab Journalists issued their own condemnation of the EU action, saying “it rejects the EU decision based on its commitment to defending the freedom of expression for all forces, particularly since Addounia TV merely represents an opinion.”