Al Jazeera reporter denied access to G-20 Seoul summit venue

November 12th, 2010 - 7:28 pm ICT by BNO News  

SEOUL (BNO NEWS) — A Syrian-born reporter from Al Jazeera Arabic-language news network on Friday said he was denied entry to the venue of the G-20 summit in Seoul and claimed the denial may have been for political reasons.

According to South Korean media, Fadi Salameh was told he was not allowed to cover the summit when he went to pick up his press pass on Thursday at the venue of the global economic forum.

“I got the affirmation email for my registration,” Salameh told Yonhap news agency. “I got my visa, a C1 journalist visa, very smoothly, and there was no problem about entering the country.”

According to Salameh, a security official told him he was denied entry because of his past record of unauthorized access to a Northeast Asian summit in late May, because had entered the summit venue without a proper press ID, which security later discovered on his way out.

But the Syrian reporter believes the access denial was because the way he covered a South Korean ship sinking story, and it must have irritated South Korean officials.

“I think the whole problem was with the security officer (in Jeju) who wanted me to cover North Korea negatively,” he said.

“Even after the security check was done with the embassy, something problematic may have been found with him,” a South Korean official said. “But the security authorities usually don’t give specifics on those things.”

Salameh’s colleagues working for Al Jazeera English were allowed entry.

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