Iraqi journalist expelled from United States; Iraq expels U.S. reporter
- The State Department accused the Iraqi reporter of engaging in activities that threaten national security, and the Iraqi government responded by sending a Fox News reporter home.
March 6, 2003 — Iraqi journalist Mohammed Hussan Allawi was ordered to leave the United States within 15 days in February following State Department charges that he had engaged in activities considered harmful to national security.
According to Richard Grenell, a spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, 38-year-old Allawi received a letter Feb. 13 that instructed him and his family to leave the United States because he had engaged in activities outside the scope of his job function. The Iraqi News Agency reporter was not formally charged with espionage.
A reporter covering the United Nations for more than two years, Allawi denied the allegations to United Press International, saying he has never engaged in any activities that could be considered harmful to the United States.
The INA is a government-owned news agency operated by Iraq’s Ministry of Information.
That same day, Fox news correspondent Greg Palkot was ordered to leave Baghdad. Iraqi officials told Fox representatives it was a “tit-for-tat move.” Originally four Fox employees were told to leave, but following negotiations between the network and Iraq officials three technicians were allowed to remain in the country.
“We appealed to the Iraqi government are continuing to try to get our people back in there,” Fox spokesman Bob Zimmerman said.
© 2003 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press