Friday 4 June 2010

CPJ condemns Israel releasing edited material seized from foreign journalists on Gaza flotilla

The Committee to Protect Journalists has denounced what it says is Israel’s editing and distribution of footage confiscated from foreign journalists aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla that was raided on Monday.
CPJ says: "On Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman’s office released edited portions of confiscated video on its YouTube channel, where the footage was labeled as 'captured.' "
The Foreign Press Association in Israel, which represents hundreds of foreign correspondents in Israel, says the military “is selectively using footage to bolster its claims that commandos opened fire only after being attacked,” Associated Press reported.
CPJ has called on the Israeli government to immediately return all equipment, notes, and footage confiscated from journalists.
“Israel has confiscated journalistic material and then manipulated it to serve its interests,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. “It must cease this practice without delay, and return all property seized from journalists who were covering this legitimate news event.”
  • NUJ member, Hassan Ghani - who was arrested when the Israeli military stormed the Gaza flotilla on Monday (31 May) - spoke to the NUJ today from Istanbul. Hassan - who is originally from Glasgow, and now works for the Iranian broadcaster, Press TV - said along with more than 60 other journalists on board the flotilla, he had his phone, camera, laptop and DV tapes confiscated by the Israeli security services. He is hoping he may be able to find his video camera among a mass of equipment which has been "dumped" in Istanbul, but, he adds, "we're told most of the kit has been smashed up by the Israelis". However, he says some of the journalists have managed to store a limited amount of material on small memory cards and they are now discussing how to release this as "pooled" material, for use by all broadcasters.

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