BEIRUT, (SANA) – The resigned al-Jazeera TV correspondent in Moscow, Mohammad Hassan, revealed that the channel's administration used to ask him to report news about the Syrian issue that are contrary to the reality of the situation in Syria and convey part of the true image of certain events, which he found inconsistent with his beliefs.
Interviewed by the Lebanese Assafir newspaper, Hassan, who submitted his resignation on April 3rd, 2012 in protest of the channel's unprofessional coverage of the events in Syria, which extended to the coverage of Russian affairs related to the Middle East region.
Hassan said that he made his final decision to resign from the Atari channel, for which he worked since 2008, after the administration asked him to comment on a piece of news about the Russian special forces entering the Syrian territories, to which he said that the news was not reliable and cannot be confirmed a quarter of an hour before the time of the newscast.
The resigned correspondent added that on March 20th, one of the newscasters insisted that Hassan confirm an unreliable news about a Russian ship with a unit of marine infantry battalions heading to Tartous to evacuate Russian civilians in case of need.
Hassan said that he told the newscaster on air that this issue has not been confirmed and Russia's foreign policy is based on the international law, and it doesn't keep its strategic relations with Syria or exporting arms to it as a secret, and indicated that it is normal to have marine infantry onboard any ship, but no information was reported on troops getting off any military ship.
"The newscaster then interrupted me to say that the information was reported by Interfax [a Russian news agency],which was untrue as I had the agency website on my computer's screen and there was no such piece of news, so we continued our spat under air," Hassan said.
He pointed out that the repercussions of the story were very serious regarding the channel's reputation as the Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement two hours later to refute the news, and on the next day, the Russian and Lebanese Foreign Ministers held a press conference in Moscow during which the Russian Minister Sergei Lavrov described the piece of news as a fabrication and called upon those who work in media to be responsible.
Hassan said the fact that he has the Syrian nationality makes him feel hurt over al-Jazeera's coverage of the events in his country, noting that he already has reservations on the channel's coverage of the events in Libya, Mesrata and sometimes the Russian affairs, "but the issue if the Russian ship confirmed my doubts and encouraged me to make my mind and resign."
In the context of its report on the continued resignations from the Qatari al-Jazeera channel in rejection of its instigative policies and news fabrications to serve its funders' ambitions towards the events in the Arab Countries, especially Syria, the Lebanese newspaper stressed that after Hassan's resignation, al-Jazeera's administration received four letters of resignations from directors of the channel's office in Paris and Riyadh Ziyad Troush, Majed al-Hjeilan and its correspondents in Afghanistan, Abu Bakr Younes and Walliallah Shahin.