DAMASCUS- The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs described a recent decision by the Arab League asking Arabsat and Nilesat to halt the broadcast of Syrian TV satellite channels as "an unprecedented political decision.”
The ministry said Sunday in a letter to the Head of the UN Security Council and the Secretary General of the UN and the UN General Assembly that it flagrantly contradicts the principles of the freedom of the press and the document regulating the Arab satellite broadcasting.
"It also runs counter to the sixth item of the plan of the international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan," the letter said.
"It also is a real contradiction with the sixth item of the plan of the international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan," the letter added.
"This unprecedented political decision blatantly contradicts the principles of the freedom of press and the document regulating the Arab satellite broadcasting adopted by the Arab Information Ministers in 2008," the Ministry said in the letter.
It added that the Arab decision breaches the principles of journalism and contradicts the freedom of access to information approved by the World.
Syria`s Foreign Ministry stated in its letter that the Arab League Council on the ministerial level issued at its extraordinary session held in Doha on June 2th, 2012 "a shameful" decision asking the administrations of the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) and the Egyptian Satellite Company (NileSat) to take the necessary measures to cease the broadcast of the official and unofficial Syrian TV satellite channels.
"This unprecedented political decision blatantly contradicts the principles of the freedom of press and the document regulating the Arab satellite broadcasting adopted by the Arab Information Ministers in 2008," the Ministry said.
Syria`s Foreign Ministry also cited Paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the abovementioned document which provides for "commitment to the principle of the freedom of reception and retransmission of broadcast and the right of the Arab citizen across the member states to receiving whatever he/she wants of broadcast from any of the states that are members of the Arab Leagues."
The Ministry added that the infamous AL decision violates the principles of journalism and contradicts the freedom of access to information approved by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva in 2003 and the UN Information Committee.
The Ministry said that the decision also contradicts the sixth point of the plan of UN Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, which was adopted by the UN Security Council in the resolution No. 2042 which calls on the Syrian Government to allow the entry of media outlets to Syria.
It also pointed out that since March 25, 2012, over 207 media outlets from all over the world have entered Syria in addition to over 100 correspondents permanently accredited in Syria.
Syria`s Foreign Ministry reiterated commitment to Annan's plan concerning the entry of media outlets to Syria, highlighting the necessity for international bodies to take suitable stances towards the Arab decision as it constitutes a flagrant violation of the freedom of information and an attempt to stop the Syrian national media.
Press keep telling that Syrian government rarely grants visas to foreign reporters and strictly limits the movements of those allowed to enter. This has left most reporters relying on contacts with activists and amateur videos shot inside the country to cover the story, according to press.
Syria's uprising began in March 2011 with protests calling to topple President Bashar al-Assad's regime. According to international press reports, Syrian government has violently cracked down as the dissent has spread, and many in the opposition have taken up arms to defend their towns and attack government troops.