Syria : Elaph correspondent barred from Arab League summit, journalist questioned by military judge



    MONTREAL, March 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The Syrian authorities yesterday
refused to give Bahia Mardini, Syria correspondent of the news website Elaph
(www.elaph.com), accreditation for the Arab League summit taking place in
Damascus on 28-29 March. Mardini told Reporters Without Borders she was
baffled by the decision, especially as the Syrian information ministry had
said, "All Arab journalist are welcome." Elaph is an Arabic-language news
website based in London.
    Journalist Mazen Darwish, the head of the Syrian Centre for Media and
Free Expression, a Reporters Without Borders partner organisation, was
meanwhile questioned by a military judge on 17 March in connection with a
complaint by the police station in the Damascus suburb of Adra accusing him of
defamation. A trial has been set for 15 April. Arrested on 12 January while
covering incidents in Adra, Darwish was released three days later without
being charged.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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