Qatar-based TV al-Jazeera is stopping news broadcasts from Iraq after Iraqi officials barred two of its reporters from Baghdad. The station said no reason had been given by officials for banning the correspondents. It said it would continue to transmit live and taped footage from its offices in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul.
"The Iraqi Information Ministry informed al-Jazeera's office in Baghdad that its correspondent there, Diyar al-Omari, was banned from performing his journalistic work and that its correspondent Tayseer Alouni must leave Iraq as soon as possible without giving any reasons for the decision," al-Jazeera said.
"Al-Jazeera regrets this surprising and sudden stand which is not justified and has decided, until further notice, to freeze the operations of all its correspondents in Iraq while continuing to transmit live and taped images from its offices in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul," it added.
Al Jazeera's editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Helal, said all the network's correspondents would remain in Baghdad and the rest of Iraq until the Iraqi authorities clarified their decision. "They cannot dictate to us who can and who cannot work," he said.
Eight al-Jazeera reporters are in in Iraq, five of them in Baghdad. (Albawaba.com)
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