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Media Watchdog Says Al-Jazeera Being Harassed

28 January 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The international media-advocacy group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is criticizing seven governments, saying they have been unjustly harassing the Arabic-language satellite television Al-Jazeera.

The Paris-based group said in an overnight statement that Saudi Arabia had refused to allow Al-Jazeera to cover the recent Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca for a third consecutive year.

It said since the start of 2004, Al-Jazeera has been harshly criticized by Saudi Arabia and the United States, has been censored in Algeria, Iran, Tunisia, and Canada and had its Baghdad bureau shut down last August by Iraqi authorities.

RSF said the actions of the seven governments demonstrates an "intolerance of critics."