Man arrested for broadcasting Hezbollah television in New York

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Javed Iqbal, owner of Brooklyn-based television company HDTV Ltd., was arrested yesterday by United States government authorities for airing content from Al-Manar (The Beacon). According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Iqbal has been charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Government authorities also searched the HDTV Ltd. office and Iqbal's home in Staten Island on suspicion of maintaining satellite dishes.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the arrest followed a tip from a confidential source in February. A lawyer representing Iqbal, Mustapha Ndanusa, described the accusations against his client — violating U.S. law by providing news outlets to people with a satellite dish — as "completely ridiculous". If convicted, Iqbal faces up to five years in prison.

Al-Manar was launched by Hezbollah in 1991. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has declared al-Manar a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity pursuant to Executive Order 13224, which criminalizes business conduct with al-Manar and prohibits their access to American news outlets. France and Spain have also prohibited al-Manar broadcasts. Transmission of al-Manar broadcasts in North America via Intelsat have been blocked since December 17, 2004, when the U.S. Department of State placed al-Manar on the Terrorist Exclusion List.

The criminality of Iqbal actions are also subject to the First Amendment rights of the U.S. Constitution, which states in part, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."


  Learn more about Al-Manar and International Emergency Economic Powers Act on Wikipedia.
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