Suleiman Al-Khalidi, a Jordanian correspondent working for Reuters, was deported shortly after his arrival in Beirut for allegedly not having an entry stamp on his passport.
The incident, which occurred on August 2nd, was only reported two days ago by Reuters.
According to Reuters, which is one of the largest news agencies in the world, the reporter was taken aside for questioning upon arriving at Beirut Airport.
Al-Khalidi said that passport control also asked him to surrender his company’s phone and laptop. There were no answers to him asking why he was being detained.
The journalist refused to give his equipment, upon which he was transferred to the deportation center to be sent back to Jordan.
The agency inquired about the reasons behind this deportation, emphasizing that Al-Khalidi is independent in his work, and condemning the way he was treated at the airport.
“We have protested to Lebanese government officials about the treatment of Reuters journalist Suleiman al-Khalidi and are seeking further information from these authorities, who have provided no explanation for their action,” stated a Reuters spokesperson.
The Lebanese authorities responded to Reuters by saying that:
“The ban on his entry to Lebanon is a purely sovereign decision of the Lebanese state, and has no relation to his work or profession.”
The authorities also added that the decision was a denial of entry and not deportation because the correspondent didn’t have an entry stamp on his passport.
Reuters is still waiting for a response to have Al-Khalidi’s expulsion rescinded.
Suleiman Al-Khalidi is a veteran journalist with 25 years of experience. His work covered the Middle East region, including Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.