Syrian journalists stage sit-ins in denunciation of Arab League's decision
Syrian journalists staged a sit-in near the headquarters of the Journalists’ Union in Damascus to protest the Arab League Council’s call for Arab satellites Arabsat and Nilesat to stop
broadcasting Syrian satellite channels.
The move was pushed for by Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, allegedly part of his call for UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan to terminate his mission in Syria and officially declare the failure of his six-point peace plan, in order to pave the way for armed intervention in Syria.
The Arab League has generally been held a hawkish stance towards Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's regime since the crisis came under the international spotlight, suspending it in November last year. Government forces have been violently cracking down on Syrian rebels since last March, when the country rose in a pro-democracy uprising. Armed rebels have added to the violence, with activists saying at least 13,000 people have been killed overall in the conflict.
Participants in the sit-in held up placards condemning the decisions of Arabsat and Nilesat. Eilias Murand, chairman of the Syrian Journalists Union, addressed the audience declaring the Syrian General Authority for Radio and Television was "surprised by this move against the Syrian media institutions|.
Saber Falhout, head of the Arab Centre for Media Studies, claimed "the enemies of Syria" were involved in an "ongoing conspiracy against the Syrian people".
"I am confident the international public will find appropriate means to represent and describe the reality of the situation in Syria," he said