Reuters defends its position for using stringer it knew was a government translator and says journalist is no longer working for the news agency
18 November 2011 By: Sarah Marshall
Reuters has defended its position in continuing to employ a stringer in Yemen despite knowing he was also working as a translator for the country's president.
The news agency last night released a statement to say Mohamed Sudam was no longer working for the organisation and confirmed it knew the stringer was also an English translator for President Saleh.
"Sudam’s work as a Reuters stringer over the course of many years has been fair and accurate. When he became a translator for the president, he disclosed his role to Reuters. On reviewing the matter, however, we believe it's not appropriate to use a stringer who is also working for the government. He is no longer reporting for us from Yemen."
Yemen has witnessed anti-government demonstrations during the past nine months with repeated calls for President Saleh to step down.
Last month Sudam was briefly kidnapped in Yemen, according to several reports including a post by Guardian correspondent Brian Whitaker, with the Yemen Journalists Syndicate calling for his release.
The severing of ties by Reuters follows a #shameonreuters Twitter hashtag and Facebook campaign against Sudam's links to the news agency stating "this page was created to tell Reuters to have respect to the people of Yemen".
Reuters posted its statement confirming it was no longer employing Sudam as a stringer on Facebook.