Coercion to register Al Jazeera as a foreign agent in the United States attempted
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The UAE, dissatisfied with the work of the Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera, hired lobbyists in the US Congress in order to initiate a decision to register the channel as a foreign agent in accordance with the US Foreign Agents Registration Law.
In this regard, since August 2020, members of Congress began pushing for Qatar-based Al Jazeera to be registered as a foreign agent in the United States.
According to experts, if Al Jazeera is forced to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Law, this could lead to the following:
- The news channel will be denied access to certain events in the United States. It will also lose its media accreditation, which today allows it to have access to Congress, the State Department, etc .;
- many scientists and experts who appear as guests on Al Jazeera may refuse to cooperate with the channel, given the stigma of the network as a “foreign agent”;
- will compromise the quality and content of the channel. The main victim will be freedom of the media, setting a precedent for the growing global censorship trend among governments.
Arab society today benefits from a variety of voices when discussing topical issues. There are countless problems in the Middle East. However, they will not be resolved by abolishing the already limited freedom of the media.
On the whole, according to experts, the requirements for Al-Jazeera to register as a foreign agent in the United States is evidence of attempts to silence the channel. The registration of a news channel as a "foreign agent" in the United States should not affect the channel's global influence and reach in the Arab world. As a result, the United States may lose an important source of transparent coverage of events from the Middle East.
Thus, by its actions, the United States shows that when the need arises to choose between real observance of freedom of speech (which Washington constantly imposes on the rest of the world) and observance of its own interests, the US authorities will unequivocally choose the latter.