Egypt’s SIS urges Reuters to retract news that Suez Canal ship swung back after being partially freed

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Mon, 29 Mar 2021 - 11:05 GMT

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CAIRO – 29 March 2021: The State Information Service (SIS) demanded Reuters to correct and clearly retract the “incorrect” news report published on Monday afternoon, in which it claimed, citing unknown sources, that the Ever Given ship “swung back across channel amid high wind”.

Reuters earlier on Monday reported a breaking news saying that the giant container ship that was jammed across the canal swung back across channel after it has been partially refloated, citing a Reuters witness and a canal source said.

The SIS issued its statement after the ship was completely freed, following six days of being wedged diagonally across the internationally significant channel, causing navigation at the canal to stop.

“This false information came at a time while the Egyptian efforts have been at the peak of being culminated in success with the full floatation of the ship,” the SIS said.

Journalist Diaa Rashwan, chairman of the SIS, said SIS has immediately reached out to officials of the Reuters Office in Cairo and had a lengthy discussion to deal with this “serious professional error happening at a delicate time,” the statement read.

It came at a time “when the world was holding its breath as it was following the enormous Egyptian efforts to end the crisis and reopen the Suez Canal,” the SIS said.

“The Agency’s incorrect news report inflicted moral and material damage on the image of Egyptian efforts and the interests of many of the parties affected by the crisis,” the SIS added.

Rashwan said Reuters then published an extensive report on the resumption of navigation in the Canal, which included a review of the Egyptian efforts, as well as a paragraph indicating that “rescue workers from the SCA …. partially refloated the ship and straightened it in the canal. After several hours it shifted briefly back across the canal before being maneuvered free”.

Chairman Rashwan said “this report is insufficient,” noting that the SIS has officially demanded Reuters to retract the false news report.

The SIS also asked Reuters to abide by the internationally established rules of the profession of journalism, and the credibility and scrutiny prescribed in the codes of journalistic practice, especially in such delicate circumstances, Rashwan added.

“In the light of the Agency's response, the SIS will be entitled to take all the necessary measures prescribed in Egyptian and international laws with regard to the regulations of the press publishing,” Rashwan said.

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