BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – After Saddam Hussein was sentenced to hang, Iraqi security forces closed two Sunni Muslim television stations Sunday for violating curfew and a law that bans airing material that could undermine the country’s stability, the Interior Ministry said.

Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, the Interior Ministry spokesman, told The Associated Press that the Al-Zawraa and Salahuddin stations were closed with the approval of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

He said that the stations violated a curfew imposed in three provinces by speaking to people in the streets and airing comments that were deemed to “incite violence.”

In July, al-Maliki warned television stations against broadcasting video that could undermine Iraq’s stability.

Airing programs or comments that incite violence or call for hatred are considered a violation of Iraq’s anti-terrorism law, Khalaf said.

In September, the Iraqi government ordered the Arabic satellite network Al-Arabiya to shut down its Baghdad operations for one month.

In November 2003, the U.S.-appointed Governing Council banned Al-Arabiya from reporting from Baghdad after it aired an audio tape said to be from Saddam Hussein, who was still at large at the time.

The station was allowed to resume its work shortly afterward.

The Iraqi government closed the Baghdad news office of Al-Jazeera television in August 2004, accusing the station of inciting violence. The office is still closed but the station operates in the Kurdish-ruled area of the north.


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