The Syrian information ministry, in a formal statement, censured the British broadcaster for its purported deviation from professional standards and alleged propagation of biased reports. Consequently, it annulled the permission of the BBC’s correspondent and cameraman to operate in Syria.
The BBC Radio representative in Syria has also been stripped of their accreditation, according to additional information from the ministry.
When contacted for a comment, a spokesperson for the BBC, without directly addressing the Syrian government’s decision, underscored that “BBC News Arabic offers impartial independent journalism”. They stressed the broadcaster’s commitment to engage with a range of political voices to establish factual narratives.
The spokesperson added that the broadcaster would persist in providing impartial news and information to its audiences throughout the Arabic-speaking world.
The Syrian information ministry also criticised the BBC’s coverage of the country’s decade-long conflict, accusing it of propagating “subjective and fake information and reports about the reality” in Syria since the outbreak of the war in 2011.
Syria’s prolonged conflict, which has drawn in foreign powers and global jihadists, has led to the death of over half a million people, displaced countless others, and wrought severe damage to the country’s infrastructure and industry.
Despite being cautioned “more than once”, the BBC persisted in broadcasting “misleading reports based on statements… from terrorist entities and those hostile to Syria,” the ministry continued.
The rescinding of accreditation from international media is a relatively rare event for Damascus, where a handful of foreign media outlets continue to operate with locally based journalists. The escalation of the conflict resulted in a significant exodus of foreign journalists from the nation.
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