AFP bureau chief’s accreditation not renewed

first_img Organisation SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law RSF_en News News February 3, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out more SyriaMiddle East – North Africa April 30, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 AFP bureau chief’s accreditation not renewed Receive email alerts Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières – RSF) protested today against the Syrian government’s refusal to renew the accreditation of Maher Chmaytelli (see photo), the Damascus bureau chief of the French news agency Agence France-Presse. “This shows once again that the regime bears down with full force on any media that dares to criticise it,” said RSF secretary-general Robert Ménard. “The hopes raised when Bashar el-Assad succeeded his father have been dashed and Syria remains one of region’s most repressive regimes.”Syria has exerted strong pressure on foreign media correspondents over the past year, forcing some to stop working for these media. Last autumn, a very harsh press law was introduced. RSF has put President Assad on its worldwide list of predators of press freedom.Chmaytelli was summoned at the beginning of this year by the information chief at the communications ministry, who accused him of having “ill will” and putting out “negative reports” about the internal political situation. He was told his accreditation would not be renewed when it expired at the end of March.The AFP office continues to operate without a bureau chief and Chmaytelli has left the country. “Mr Chmaytelli has always worked in a professional manner and respected Syrian laws concerning the press,” an AFP spokesperson said.The visit to Damascus in November 2000 by the head of AFP, Bertrand Eveno, to install Chmaytelli as bureau chief, was seen as a strong indication of Syria’s willingness to open up in media matters. Help by sharing this information The Syrian authorities have not renewed the accreditation of the AFP bureau chief (see photo) in Damascus. This is part of standard hostility towards those working for the foreign media, who face numerous pressures from a regime that does not tolerate criticism. Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists March 8, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Syria to go further News Newslast_img read more