12 July 2017

Eritrea: Response to Al Jazeera

press release

Asmara, 12 July 2017

Mr. Al Anstey

CEO

Al Jazeera Media Network

Dear Mr. Al Anstey,

I refer to a derogatory article: "Eritrea: Anecdotes of indefinite anarchy" that was posted in Al Jazeera's website on Thursday (July 6) last week. The article in question essentially dwells on a barrage of vitriol against Eritrea by a notorious author who routinely engages in a smear campaign against the country.

I will not waste your time here to respond to his unfounded and outrageous narrative. But what we find baffling is Al-Jazeera's evident preference to accommodate and disseminate innuendos and lies by obscure authors of dubious credibility and/or who harbor sinister agendas against Eritrea.

We had repeatedly urged Al Jazeera, on various occasions in the past, to refrain from this biased stance. But for reasons we fail to understand, this legitimate request continues to be ignored. Similarly, our repeated requests for the right of response and to be given equal space to rectify malicious propaganda against Eritrea seem to fall on deaf ears.

In this particular case, Al Jazeera has put a disclaimer pointing out that "the views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy". The disclaimer cannot, however, conceal Al Jazeera's transparent selection bias which is indeed amplified by the links to several, negative, stories it highlights in the same article.

From our perspective, Al Jazeera's insistence on this skewed approach will only undermine and corrode its professed claims of "neutrality, objectivity and professionalism" in its coverage of international news and events.

Sincerely

Paulos Netabay

Director

Eritrean News Agency

Eritrea

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