| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Syria cancels accreditation of two BBC journalists

Syria’s information ministry said on Saturday that it had revoked the accreditation of two local journalists working for Britain’s BBC due to “false” and “politicized” reportage.

The accreditations of an unidentified correspondent and camera operator have been cancelled as a result of “subjective and false information and reports” on Syria, according to the ministry’s website. Other BBC reports were described as “politicised.”

Contacted by Reuters, the BBC said its Arabic news service provided impartial and independent reporting by speaking to people across the political spectrum.

“We will continue to provide impartial news and information to our audiences across the Arabic-speaking world,” it said.

Syria’s information ministry did not respond to a Reuters request for additional information on Saturday, which is not a working day in the country.

Syria, ravaged by conflict since 2011, ranks 175 out of 180 on a press freedom index compiled by Reporters’ Without Borders. The government and other authorities impose strict limits on media coverage and require accreditations and permissions to report.

The BBC published a report last month on what it said were “direct links” between the trade of an amphetamine known as captagon and the family of President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the Syrian military.

Syria has denied playing a role in the captagon trade.

The United States, Britain and European Union have blamed Syria’s government for the production and export of the drug, naming Maher al-Assad – the head of the army’s Fourth Division and the president’s brother – as a key figure.

  • Reuters