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Man imprisoned for airing Hizbullah TV

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    Man Gets 6 1/2 Years In Prison for Airing Hizbullah TV Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 8:08 PM Associated Press
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2009
      Man Gets 6 1/2 Years In Prison for Airing Hizbullah TV
      Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 8:08 PM
      Associated Press

      The Pakistan-born owner of a satellite TV company has pleaded guilty
      to providing material aid to a terrorist organization by letting
      customers receive broadcasts from Hizbullah's television station.

      Javed Iqbal entered the plea in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday.
      He declined comment afterward. As part of the plea, Iqbal agreed to
      serve a prison term of up to six and a half years. Sentencing was set
      for March 24.

      Prosecutors said Iqbal used satellite dishes on his Staten Island home
      to distribute broadcasts of Al Manar, the television station of the
      Lebanon-based organization that has been fighting Israel since the
      early 1980s.

      Israel and the US consider Hizbullah a terrorist organization and
      accuse it of being behind deadly attacks in Lebanon and abroad.

      Iqbal, 45, was born in Pakistan but has lived in the United States for
      more than 20 years. He is a permanent resident with five children. A
      former New York Police Department officer was among those who signed
      his $250,000 bail package.

      Although Americans are granted freedom of speech under the First
      Amendment to the Constitution, the government contended in this case
      that Iqbal was not entitled to arrange the satellite broadcast of an
      organization designated as a terrorist group, regardless of the message.

      Lebanon's information minister, Ghazi Aridi, had criticized Iqbal's
      arrest, calling it an "attack against freedoms (that) robs a large
      section of people from watching a specific channel."



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