03/16/2005, 00.00
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Radio and TV stations silenced for reporting on human rights demonstration

by Jihad Issa

Damascus (AsiaNews) – The Syrian authorities have shut down a radio and a TV stations for reporting on a demonstration in favour of human rights. Anwar al-Banni, an official with a human rights group in Damascus, said that the Syrian government ordered the closure of the offices of US-funded al-Horra (Free) TV station and Radio Sawa (Together). The government also withdrew accreditation from Amar Mousareh, who works for both media outlets, and from another journalist, who preferred to remain anonymous.

The decision was taken after the two stations last Thursday reported a human rights demonstration marking the first anniversary of the Kamchli massacre and demanding the end to the state of emergency.

Meanwhile, in the US, Syria's Ambassador Imad Moustafa stated that his government was going to withdraw the 10,000 soldiers it still had in Lebanon as soon as Lebanese forces were in a position to take their place,

He also acknowledged that his country was in a difficult situation vis-à-vis Lebanon but refused to specify any timetable for the pullout.

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