An Open Letter from Al Jazeera


26 June 2017 |  Al Jazeera Media


“…Al Jazeera – like all credible media organisations – has been challenged throughout its history. We have been criticised because our journalism shows what is really going on, and sometimes governments, corporations or individuals don’t want what they are doing to be seen.

Our offices have been closed in the past by certain countries who didn’t want the truth to be seen. Most recently by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt.

The satellite TV and online signals distributing our channels have been blocked by governments to prevent their people from seeing our content.

Al Jazeera’s staff have been threatened, locked up, and killed as a consequence of carrying out their duties as journalists. Our colleagues in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere have paid the ultimate price while doing their jobs.

We have also reported on critical and perhaps embarrassing issues in Qatar when they arose, including the plight of workers on construction sites and accusations of rights violations.

We have covered stories that have been attacked by Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia because we showed what was really going on.

Egypt not only attacked Al Jazeera for its coverage, but also, shockingly, imprisoned and sentenced our colleagues, whose only crime was their commitment to great journalism.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE may silence their own media and their own people’s freedom to speak out, but because Al Jazeera is watched by so many people in the Arab world, they want us gone.

Despite the pressure being exerted on Al Jazeera by these countries, and their calls for our closure, we have covered the region and events with balance and with impartiality, and we will continue to do so.

We are a network that exists to cover all peoples; to hear human stories from all corners of the world; and to ensure that our information stands up to scrutiny in every country and from every person who watches or reads our news.

The attempt to silence Al Jazeera is an attempt to silence independent journalism in the region, and to challenge everyone’s freedom to be heard and to be informed. This must not be allowed to happen.

We are deeply proud of our journalism. We respect – and give thanks to – everyone we report about, and everyone we inform.

We remain resolute in carrying out our responsibility of providing reliable information, and giving those we cover a voice.

We are unwavering in our resolve to continue doing so, and we will proceed to tell the stories of the world from Kabul to Caracas and from Mosul to Sydney.

We will continue to do our job with integrity. We will continue to be courageous in the pursuit of the truth. And we will continue to respect people’s rights to be heard.

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