LONDON (Reuters) - The Libyan government expelled a Reuters correspondent on Wednesday.
It gave no reason for ordering out Michael Georgy, who had been in Tripoli since February 28 among a small group of foreign journalists allowed in to report under government restrictions.
Georgy, an American currently based in Pakistan, was notified late on Tuesday that he must leave Libya. He arrived in neighbouring Tunisia on Wednesday.
“We regret the decision of the Libyan authorities to expel our correspondent and we regret the fact that no reason has been given for his expulsion,” Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler said. “We are committed to continuing our accurate and impartial coverage of events in Libya.”
Georgy and a Reuters photographer were detained by Libyan security officials for several hours earlier this month after trying to reach the then rebel-held city of Misrata without the permission of government “minders” who have not let foreign journalists out of their hotel other than on escorted trips.
A Reuters multimedia team remains in Tripoli as part of the government-supervised media contingent.
Georgy, a fluent Arabic speaker, joined Reuters in 1995. From previous bases in Cairo, London, Baghdad and Johannesburg he has reported from many countries, particularly in the Middle East.
Reuters, part of New York-based Thomson Reuters, the leading information provider, employs some 3,000 journalists worldwide.
Reporting in English, Arabic and more than a dozen other languages, Reuters has had bureaux across the Middle East for well over a century.
A number of Arab governments have taken action against independent media which have reported on popular unrest in the region in the past three months. Saudi Arabia expelled a Reuters foreign correspondent from Riyadh earlier this month and Syria expelled the agency’s Damascus correspondent last week.