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Saudi newspaper editor resigns over ‘false claims’

November 25, 2016 at 9:31 pm

An aerial view shows the Imam Hussein shrine and Imam Abbas shrine as Iraqi Shiites take part in commemorations during the mourning period of Muharram, which marks the day of Ashura, in Karbala, Iraq on October 11, 2016 [Ali Mohammed/Anadolu Agency]

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.

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.