CBC accuses AP...

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...of suppressing a videotape of thousands of Palestinians dancing in the streets of Nablus. CBC suspects AP has been threatened.

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), September 14, 2001


Jer usalem Post

PA unapologetic on confiscating rally footage By Lamia Lahoud

JERUSALEM (September 17) - Palestinian Authority actions to confiscate film footage of Palestinians celebrating the terror attacks on the US were logical to prevent the media from painting the wrong picture of Palestinian sentiment, Bassam Abu Sharif, an adviser to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, said yesterday.

"This was a normal preventive act... we don't want to give more to the Zionist propaganda which portrays all Palestinians as terrorists," he said. "The idea is that these people were not allowed to film, because a small group of people on film would represent the Palestinian people as a whole."

He said only a few kids held up pictures of bin Laden, and the police arrested journalists and confiscated the film of those who defied orders not to film an illegal demonstration.

Abu Sharif charged that Israel has violated press freedom far more than the PA and accused Israel of taking advantage of it for its own propaganda.

"How many were injured and killed by the IDF? How many times have cameras been broken... there are soldiers on trial for severely beating an Egyptian camera crew," he said.

Journalists and cameramen have complained that they have been threatened by Fatah activists for planning to show footage of celebrations, and there have been reports that Palestinian policemen detained cameramen who filmed a Hamas demonstration in Gaza on Saturday at which Palestinians carried pictures of Osama bin Laden.

PA officials countercharged that pro-Israeli media are trying to portray the reaction of a handful of people who were celebrating as the Palestinian attitude.

Commenting on the complaints by the Foreign Press Association, one Palestinian source responded: "Let them not send any spies next time."

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), September 16, 2001.

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