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Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 13:40 GMT
Saddam pounces on son's newspaper
Iraqis watch TV set
Uday's media provide some relief from state fare
The Iraqi Government has suspended a newspaper run by Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday.

No reason was given for the one-month ban which was reported to foreign media by Iraqi Government and media sources after Babel failed to appear on news stands on Wednesday.

Uday Hussein
Uday is Saddam Hussein's eldest son
Babel is known for carrying Western reports on Iraq's conflict with the United States and is said to be the most influential newspaper in the country.

But it appears that attacks made on pro-American Arab leaders in recent issues may have landed the paper in trouble.

The French news agency AFP said the government had warned against criticising other Arab states in the wake of a Beirut summit in March when Baghdad's relations with other states in the region began to thaw.

However, recent Babel issues featured:

  • A piece about Jordan's crackdown on Islamic militancy headlined "Jordan's Tyrant Wreaks Havoc"

  • A report on Egyptian politics entitled "[President Hosni] Mubarak and his clique".

In addition, this Sunday saw Babel carrying a Western report that Saddam Hussein had tried to secure a "bolt-hole" for his family in Libya in the event of his ouster by the US.

Uday Hussein also runs a television channel, Youth TV, which airs reports by other Arab channels not usually heard on Iraq's state-run media.

The BBC's Paul Reynolds says the Iraqi leader's eldest son is a flamboyant character who does not necessarily reflect his father's views.

By contrast, his younger brother Qusay is generally thought to be made more in Saddam Hussein's image and to be his political heir apparent.


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14 Nov 02 | Middle East
28 Mar 00 | In Depth
20 Oct 98 | Middle East
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