Officials deny expelling foreign reporters

New York City, October 28, 2002—Iraqi officials have denied reports that the government has expelled foreign journalists from the country.

On Friday, CNN reported that its Baghdad bureau chief, Jane Arraf, and five other non-Iraqi reporters and staff members were ordered to leave the country by today, because officials were angered by the network’s coverage, most recently of anti-government protests last week.

Iraqi officials, however, say that the media have not been expelled and that Iraq will remain open to foreign news coverage, The New York Times reported today. The paper said that CNN correspondent Rym Brahimi will be reporting from Baghdad until her visa expires in two weeks, and that Arraf has been told that she can return to the country after she renews her visa in Amman, Jordan.

The Times also said that other Western journalists were told to leave the country when their short-term visas expire, but that the correspondents will be allowed to reapply for new visas.