Fired Up - Al Jazeera & Uranium Mines

Thursday, July 16, 2009

1. A few months back Al Jazeera purchased a documentary my friend had produced on the resistance movement in West Papua, titled Pride of Warriors. The documentary was due to air on Al Jazeera English on the 2nd of July. Suddenly, on the day, it was pulled from Al Jazeera’s programming schedule. Reference to it completely disappeared from Al Jazeera’s website.

It is widely understood that the Indonesian Government pressured Al Jazeera to delay until after their July 8 elections, if not pull the documentary altogether. I, for one, am deeply disappointed in Al Jazeera. I would have expected this level of censorship from Channel 9 or Fox, but not Al Jazeera.

In an article in the Jakarta Post an Indonesian Government spokesperson denies that the Indonesian Government put pressure on Al Jazeera to pull the doco. He said that the film was one sided and violated the ‘principles of Journalism’. ‘Principles of Journalism’? The Indonesian Government bans journalists from entering West Papua. The film gives a voice to the West Papuan people, who tell of their struggle with the Indonesian military presence and human rights abuses.

For more info see this article from New Matilda or this one from EngageMedia

2. Another Uranium Mine?! Peter Garrett, our esteemed environment minister (aka wolf in sheep clothing) has given approval to a Uranium mine in outback South Australia (see ABC News Story). In a former life, Garrett used to protest against Uranium mining. Now he approves them. I thought having Peter Garrett in politics would make a difference, turns out he’s more interested in towing the party line.

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