Germany bans Al-Manar

Hezbollah-funded Arabic channel al-Manar has been banned in Germany. Satellite operators and cable companies are forbidden from carrying the channel. Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior issud a German-wide ban of the operations of al-Manar, the satellite TV channel of the Iranian-funded terrorist organization Hezbollah.

The channel is still available from Nilesat and Arabsat. However, the decision was welcomed by the European Foundation for Democracy. "By outlawing advertising, fundraising activities and broadcasting in hotels across Germany, the German Government has taken an important step in contributing to European efforts to counter the spread of radicalization and violent ideologies. The German Government also confirmed that it takes very seriously its responsibility to protect its citizens", said Roberta Bonazzi, Executive Director of the European Foundation for Democracy.

"Germany has set an important example for all European governments," said Alexander Ritzmann, Senior Terrorism Expert at the European Foundation for Democracy. "It is now crucial that all European countries take similar action and recognize the threat of violent and terrorist propaganda, as is the case of the message propagated by Hezbollah’s TV [channel]."

"Another major threat to German and European security," stated Ritzmann, "is represented by al-Aqsa TV, the satellite channel of Hamas, the Palestinian group listed by the EU as a terrorist organization, that broadcasts violent and hateful programmes particularly targeting children. Al-Aqsa is being broadcast into Europe by a number of satellite providers, including the French satellite provider Eutelsat".

Ritzmann warned that "it is now crucially important that the German government, the European Union and other European governments ensure that the transmission of al-Manar is immediately stopped across Europe". Al-Manar continues to be freely available in Europe via the Egyptian satellite provider Nilesat and the Saudi majority-owned satellite provider Arabsat.