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Parliamentary questions
11 June 2008
H-0484/08
ORAL QUESTION for Question Time at the part-session in July 2008 pursuant to Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure by Frédérique Ries to the Council

 Subject: European satellite capacity for terrorist media Al-Aqsa
 Answer 

In its reply to question E 1666/08, the Commission pointed out that it 'shares … concern with regard to incitement to hatred broadcast under the jurisdiction of one of the Member States.' Hamas’ TV station Al-Aqsa uses European satellite capacity of the French company Eutelsat’s Atlantic Bird 4, which Eutelsat leases to the Jordanian satellite provider Noorsat, to incite violence and hatred and justify terrorism in Europe and beyond. As on Hezbollah’s TV station Al-Manar, on Al-Aqsa programming children dress up as suicide bombers and are presented as heroes. In one segment, Assud, a popular bunny character, advocates martyrdom and suicide bombings as the ideal goal for every child who phones into the show. In another segment the cartoon character says that he will 'bite and eat up' the Danes because a Danish newspaper published political cartoons they did not like. Assud the bunny accepts a phone call on the show from someone who says that 'we will manage to kill, to assassinate' the cartoonist, to which Assud wholeheartedly agrees.

What is the Council planning to prevent Al-Aqsa broadcasting on European satellite capacity? Given the similarities between Al-Manar and the incitement to violence and terrorism broadcast on Al Aqsa, does this not amount to a violation of Article 3b ('Incitement to hatred') of the revised Audiovisual Without Frontiers Directive (Directive 2007/65/EC(1)), as was the case with 'Al-Manar'?

(1)5  OJ L 332, 18.12.2007, p. 27.

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