MIDDLE EAST

Syrian offers 10 million lira bounty to capture Al Arabiya reporters

Fahim Saqr, who is living in Kuwait and was speaking by phone on a televised program on Syrian state TV. (Image grab from YouTube video)

A pro-regime Syrian businessman offered on Sunday to give out 10 million Syrian liras (about $141,700) to anyone who captures Al Arabiya news correspondents reporting inside Syria.

Fahim Saqr, who is living in Kuwait and was speaking by phone on a televised program on Syrian state TV, issued the threat to reporters of the pan-Arab news channel and those from Al Jazeera also.

“Their media is lies, while our media is truthful,” Sadeq told the news presenter.

“I announce this message in my name: Any Syrian citizen from Al Arabiya or Al Jazeera who captures a reporter and hands them over to Syrian security forces, I will give to them 10 million liras.

“These people mislead Syrian citizens inside and outside the country, mislead the Arab world and mislead the whole world with their false reporting, which aims to fragment the country and Syria’s social fabric.”

“You have my name, number, and contact details,” he told the presenter.

Pro-regime officials have frequently lashed out at international and pan-Arab media coverage of events in Syria.

Similarly, Syrian activists have also been angered by how state television depicts events in the war-torn country.

In February, a report aired by Syrian state TV blaming opposition fighters for destroying a nursery in Damascus, was allegedly viewed by activists on social media as a fabrication by the regime to taint the country’s opposition, after they retrieved the video showing regime soldiers playing in the same nursery.

The conflicting report circulated on the Facebook group named: “Scandals of the Syrian regime’s media and its lies and TV clowns.”

The group’s members stand firmly against the Syrian government and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Many Syrian activists inside and outside the country are documenting the events taking place in Syria through all communication mediums; print, sound and pictures.

Syria's conflict began in March 2011 with protests calling for Assad's ouster. It has since become a civil war, with hundreds of independent rebel groups across Syria fighting Assad's forces. The government says the war is an international conspiracy to weaken Syrian being carried out by terrorists on the ground. The U.N. says more than 70,000 people have been killed.

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Last Update: Monday, 1 April 2013 KSA 10:52 - GMT 07:52
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