Germany bans Hizbullah's TV station

Ban prevents satellite companies from offering Al Manar; official: Channel violates our constitution.

al manar hizbullah website 248.88 (photo credit: )
al manar hizbullah website 248.88
(photo credit: )
Germany has banned Hizbullah's television station on grounds that it violates the country's constitution, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Friday. The US banned Al-Manar in 2004, saying it incited terrorist activity. Hizbullah is not banned in Germany but is under observation by the domestic intelligence agency, which tracks extremists. The Al-Manar ban prevents German satellite television companies from offering the channel. Government spokesman Markus Beyer said Al-Manar programming was forbidden on Nov. 11 under Article 9 of Germany's constitution, which says that organizations cannot operate with the purpose of violating "international understanding." Beyer was not more specific, but Al-Manar is known to be staunchly anti-Israel and frequently broadcasts footage of Hizbullah gunmen. Al-Manar's public relations chief, Ibrahim Farhat, declined to comment, saying station management would issue a statement later. In 2005, Al-Manar broadcast a program that portrayed Jews killing a Christian child to use its blood for matza. When French satellite television banned the channel for airing a 29-part Ramadan special which quoted extensively from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Hizbullah spokesman Ibrahim Mousawi said the ban resulted from 'political pressure by the Jewish lobby.' Arabic-language Al-Manar is based in Beirut and broadcasts locally and by satellite. It has no physical presence in Germany. The television station is largely funded though not operated by Iran. Jerusalem Post correspondent Jonny Paul contributed to this report.