Syria bans Al-Hurra reporter

Syria has banned the correspondent for US-funded Arabic-language television Al-Hurra and Radio Sawa for lacking accreditation.

    Officials denied any hostility towards al-Hurra and Radio Sawa

    Ammar Musara reportedly had an accreditation, but it was withdrawn "because of his coverage of an opposition sit-in in Damascus," a Syrian human rights lawyer said.

    "In Syria, we open the doors to the media, particular foreigners, to allow them to transmit a real image of what is happening in the country," a Syrian Information Ministry official said on Tuesday.

    "We have no hostility toward the Al-Hurra chain or Radio Sawa, but their correspondent does not have the proper accreditation," he said.

    Human rights lawyer Anwar Bunni said Musara's coverage of the opposition demonstration on 10 March in front of the capital's Palace of Justice to call for the scrapping of Syria's emergency law and of special courts irked the authorities.

    Al-Hurra was launched last year to improve the image of the United States in the Middle East and to counter the influence of the two Arabic satellite channels, Aljazeera and Al-Arabiya.
      
    Radio Sawa began broadcasting in 2002. Both are funded by the US Congress.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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