Afghan gov't bans Al-Jazeera English TV programs

The Afghan government ordered a TV station to suspend broadcasts of all Al-Jazeera English language programs, the station's director said Tuesday. A statement from Lemar TV said the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture did not provide reasons for the order. The station, which for five months has featured about three hours of Al-Jazeera news programming per day, suspended the shows Sunday afternoon, but contested the order before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The director of the station said the ministry told the attorney general's office that Al-Jazeera is "inflicting a killer blow to the cultural order and the legal authority of the government." The ban on Al-Jazeera comes amid widespread concern that media rights were being quashed by the government. A proposed media law that will soon go before Parliament would make it illegal for journalists to report stories "that harm the physical, spiritual and moral well-being of people." Cable operators in Afghanistan are still free to broadcast Al-Jazeera.