The editor-in-chief of Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat has resigned days after the newspaper published an article about unintended pregnancies in Iraq’s Karbala, a city considered holy by the Shia who are currently observing a ritualised mourning period.
Salman Aldosary announced his resignation on Wednesday in a tweet and announced that he will be replaced by Lebanese journalist Ghassan Charbel.
كل التوفيق للزميل العزيز غسان شربل في رئاسة تحرير الشرق الأوسط…
انتهت علاقتي الوظيفية… لكن علاقتي كقارئ مع الخضراء الجميلة لا تنتهي أبداً??
— سلمان الدوسري (@SalmanAldosary) November 23, 2016
Translation: All the best to Ghassan Charbel in his new post as editor. I have resigned from my post but my relationship as a reader will never end]
Prior to his resignation, Asharq Al-Awsat cited a fabricated quote by a World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesman as claiming that over 169 Iraqi women had become pregnant out of wedlock after last year’s Shia pilgrimage to Karbala.
The international health organisation, however, rejected making such a claim.
The WHO then stated that it was investigating the source of the undocumented report and would contemplate further action against those behind its publication.