Syria withdraws accreditation of Reuters correspondent

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) – Syria has withdrawn the
accreditation of a Reuters correspondent, saying he had filed
“unprofessional and false” coverage of events in Syria.

Reuters said it stood by its coverage from Syria, where a
week of protests in southern towns have presented President
Bashar al-Assad with the deepest crisis of his 11-year rule.

Senior Correspondent Khaled Yacoub Oweis, who had been based
in Damascus since Feb. 2006, was told to leave Syria late on
Friday.

A senior Information Ministry official told him: “Your
accreditation has been withdrawn and you are being expelled
because of your unprofessional and false news. You have to leave
immediately.”

Syrian Information Ministry officials were not available on
Saturday to offer clarification.

“We regret the decision by the Syrian government to exclude
our correspondent. We stand by our coverage and are committed to
continuing our accurate and impartial reporting about Syria,”
Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said.

Oweis, a Jordanian national, was the first foreign
correspondent to be accredited for Reuters in Damascus. He has
also reported from Baghdad, Beirut, Amman and London.

Reuters, part of New York-based Thomson Reuters, the leading
information provider, employs some 3,000 journalists worldwide.

Reporting in English, Arabic and more than a dozen other
languages, Reuters has had bureaux across the Middle East for
well over a century.

Syria withdraws accreditation of Reuters correspondent