The Trump Administration Orders an Al Jazeera Affiliate to Register as a Foreign Agent – By Dan Friedman (Mother Jones) / Sept 16 2020
The move follows a furious lobbying campaign by the United Arab Emirates.
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The US Justice Department on Monday declared that the Al Jazeera Media Network—the international news organization based in Doha—”is an agent of the Government of Qatar.” The DOJ has ordered the network’s US-based social media division, AJ+, to register as a foreign agent, a step the news outlet says will hobble its journalism.
AJ+ acts “at the direction and control” of Qatar’s rulers, Jay Bratt, chief of the DOJ’s counterintelligence and export control section, wrote in a September 14 letter obtained by Mother Jones. “Despite assertions of editorial independence and freedom of expression, Al Jazeera Media Network and its affiliates are controlled and funded by the Government of Qatar,” Bratt stated.
“Hobbling Al Jazeera was one of the top conditions of the UAE’s blockade against Qatar and the Justice Department just gave the UAE what it wanted.”
The designation follows a years-long push by lobbyists hired by the autocratic government of the United Arab Emirates, which has long resented the critical coverage it receives from Al Jazeera. That effort has been led by Akin Gump, a large law firm and a registered foreign agent for the UAE. Its employees, including former House Foreign Relations Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, amped up their work related to Al Jazeera this year, issuing a lengthy report in July and contacting scores of lawmakers and legislative aides, according to Akin Gump’s federal filings.
Continue to article: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/09/trump-doj-al-jazeera-fara-uae-qatar/