Jordan pledge after hostage beheading

Gulf Daily News Monday, 2nd February 2015
24-hour Arabic news channel launched
MANAMA: A New 24-hour Arabic
news channel began broadcasting
from Bahrain yesterday.
Al Arab News Channel is the country’s first international satellite news
station and will rival established names
such as Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.
The independent channel is owned
by Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal
bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who has been
ranked by Forbes as the 26th richest
person in the world with a fortune of
$20 billion.
First guest on Al Arab yesterday was
senior Al Wefaq National Islamic So-
ciety member Khalil Marzooq, who
was interviewed about Saturday’s announcement by the Interior Ministry
that the citizenships of 72 people had
been revoked.
“Our job is to give the facts and leave
the opinion to the viewer,” said Al Arab
general manager Jamal Khashoggi.
“We’re convinced that we will give
space to every opinion.”
The channel, which has over 280 employees and around 30 presenters, was
initially supposed to launch in December. It is headquartered at the Bahrain World Trade Centre and comes
under the banner of the Arab TV
News Company.
The channel is available on OSN
Channel 454, [email protected]°W SD
(frequency: 12015MHz) and Arabsat [email protected]°EHD/SD (frequency:
l Our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej
reported last night that the channel had
been blocked for failing to abide by the
customs and conventions prevailing in
the GCC countries, including neutral
media stances and non-involvement in
anything likely to affect negatively the
spirit of GCC unity and solidarity.
n A presenter at one of Al Arab’s news studios
Egypt deports
CAIRO: Al Jazeera journalist
A security official said Fahmy
was expected to be released from
Cairo’s Tora prison in a few days.
His fiancée said she hoped he
would be free soon and deported
to Canada. “His deportation is in
its final stages. We are hopeful,”
Marwa Omara said.
There was no official word
Canada’s foreign ministry welon the fate of his two Al Jazeera
comed what it called positive develcolleagues – Canadian-Egyptian
opments. “We remain very hopeful
Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian
that Fahmy’s case will be resolved
national Baher Mohamed – who
n Greste
shortly,” it said.
were also jailed in the case that
Many Egyptians see Qatar-based Al Jazeera as
provoked an international outcry.
The three were sentenced to seven to 10 years a force set on destabilising the country, a view
on charges including spreading lies to help a ter- that has been encouraged in the local media,
rorist organisation – a reference to the outlawed which has labelled the journalists “The Marriott
Muslim Brotherhood. One month ago, however, Cell”, because they worked from a hotel of the
US-based chain.
a court ordered their retrial.
accuse Al Jazeera of being
a mouthpiece of the Muslim
Brotherhood, the movement
that was toppled in 2013 by
President Abdel Fattah Al
Sisi when he was Egypt’s
army chief.
The timing of Greste’s
release came as a surprise,
AMMAN: Jordan renewed an offer
for the pilot, but the militants
just days after Egypt sufyesterday to swap an Al Qaeda didn’t say at the time if they were
fered one of the bloodiest
prisoner for a fighter pilot held considering such a deal. An audio
militant attacks in years.
captive by the Islamic State (IS) message last week, purportedly
More than 30 members of
group, a day after a video pur- from IS, only said the pilot would
the security forces were
portedly showed the militants be- be killed if Al Rishawi was not rekilled on Thursday in Sinai.
heading a Japanese hostage.
leased on Thursday.
The interior ministry said
The fates of the pilot, Lt Muath
The deadline passed after Joron its Facebook page that
Al Kaseasbeh, and Japanese dan said it cannot free her withjournalist Kenji Goto previous- out proof the pilot is alive. Late
Sisi released Greste under a
ly had been linked. The video of on Saturday, the video purportdecree issued in November
the beheading made no mention edly showing Goto’s beheading
authorising the president to
of the pilot, raising fears for the was released.
approve the deportation of
lieutenant’s life.
“We will never forgive terrorforeign prisoners.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II ists,” Japanese Prime Minister
The journalists say they
condemned the killing as “crim- Shinzo Abe told reporters at his
were doing their jobs when
inal act” and “stressed the need office, appearing to fight back
detained. Their imprisonfor concerted international ef- tears. “We will co-operate with the
forts to fight terrorism and ex- international community to make
ment reinforced the view
tremism,” the official news agen- them atone for their crimes.”
of human rights groups that
cy Petra said.
“I can’t find the words to dethe government was rolling
IS last week demanded the re- scribe how I feel about my son’s
back freedoms gained after
lease of Sajida Al Rishawi, an Al very sad death,” a sobbing Junko
the 2011 uprising.
Qaeda prisoner, who faces death, Ishido, Goto’s mother, said.
Al Jazeera said its camfor her role in triple hotel bombHis brother Junichi Goto said
paign to free its journalists
ings in Jordan in 2005.
he had been holding out hope,
from Egypt would not end
Jordan offered to release her “but that’s not possible anymore”.
until all three were released.
Peter Greste was released from
a Cairo jail yesterday and left
Egypt for his native Australia
after 400 days in prison on
charges that included aiding a
terrorist group.
Jordan pledge after
hostage beheading
Blasts rattle mall shoppers
BANGKOK: Two explosions at a transit hub near major
shopping malls in the Thai capital last night were caused
by small improvised explosive devices, but no-one was
hurt and damage was minor, police said.
The explosions occurred at the Siam Square station of
Bangkok’s Skytrain system, which serves several shopping centres, including the upmarket Paragon mall.
The incident came at a time of slightly raised political
temperatures in Thailand, as the country’s ruling junta
has tightened its clampdown on critics of its rule.