Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yemen shuts down Al-Jazeera

Yemen shuts down Al-Jazeera

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AUTHORITIES in Yemen, which has been hit by two months of anti-regime protests, overnight closed down the offices of Al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite news channel said.

The Doha-based television, in a strapline on screen, said its offices in Sanaa were closed and press accreditation withdrawn of its staff in Yemen, which has heavily criticised the channel's coverage of the unrest.

Yemen, which has also accused Al-Jazeera of bias in favour of the demonstrators, last Saturday ordered two Al-Jazeera correspondents to leave the country, saying they were working illegally and had acted unprofessionally.

The order came a day after loyalists of embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime gunned down 52 pro-democracy protesters in Sanaa, provoking widespread international condemnation.

Among those shot dead was Yemeni photojournalist Jamal al-Sharaabi, who worked for independent weekly Al-Masdar, media rights groups said.

In March 2010, Saleh's ruling party warned the authorities could shut down Al-Jazeera, accusing the network of lack of objectivity in its coverage of an earlier round of unrest.

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