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Baghdad Shuts Down Al-Jazeera Office

7 August 2004 -- Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi told a news conference that the Baghdad offices of Al-Jazeera -- a Qatar-based Arabic-language satellite news channel -- have been ordered closed for one month.

He said a government commission monitoring Al-Jazeera concluded that it was inciting hatred and violence.

Allawi also announced an amnesty today for Iraqi insurgents who committed minor crimes such as weapons possession.

However, the 30-day amnesty will not apply to insurgents who have engaged in serious offenses, such as murder.

Allawi also said emergency laws are not needed to stabilize the country and that a national conference set for 15 August to choose a council to oversee the interim government will go ahead on schedule, followed by elections in January.