POLITICS

Yemen Deports U.S. Journalist, Leaving Only 1 Foreign Reporter

05/08/2014 04:00 pm ET | Updated Jul 21, 2015

NEW YORK -- Adam Baron, a freelance journalist reporting from Yemen the past three years, has been deported from the country.

Baron regularly writes for the McClatchy newspaper chain and the Christian Science Monitor.

James Asher, the Washington bureau chief for McClatchy, confirmed to HuffPost that he has been deported and that Baron “believes the deportation is about his journalism.”

“Obviously, it is troubling that a journalist doing his job would be tossed from any country,” Asher said.

Iona Craig, an Irish freelance journalist who writes for The Times of London, tweeted the news about Baron and noted there’s now “only one foreign journalist” officially in Yemen.

“That's me,” Craig wrote. “Just waiting for the soldiers to come knocking.”

Journalist Casey Combs later tweeted that there are a few other foreign journalists in Yemen. Craig responded that only she and Baron were operating with journalist visas.

The deportation comes a day after the U.S. embassy temporarily closed its doors in the capital of Sanaa because of security concerns.

A State Department spokeswoman did not have any immediate comment on reports of the deportation.

Given how few journalists are on the ground, news organizations must often rely on U.S. and Yemeni officials for information about security threats or drone strikes targeting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which operates in the country.

In August, McClathcy notably reported a detail of communications between AQAP leaders that other news organizations withheld at the government's request.

Days later, Craig and Baron spoke about the lack of journalists covering Yemen from the ground during an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

Baron said that there’s a “very clear” difference between someone writing about Yemen from Washington, D.C., or Cairo, Egypt, versus writing from Yemen.

“One of the reasons why there's such an issue with a lot coverage of Yemen is that it's being covered from elsewhere,” Baron said, “when this is a country that you really need to be deeply enmeshed in to really understand.”

This story has been updated with Casey Combs' tweet and Iona Craig's response about foreign journalists in Yemen.

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