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When Cameramen Attack By: HonestReporting.com
HonestReporting.com | Thursday, October 19, 2006

Following the Reuters Fauxtography scandal, another of the press agency's employees is in trouble, as Israel National News explains:

On Tuesday, a Reuters cameraman was remanded to prison until trial for his part in rock-throwing attacks on security forces in Bil'in, where the separation fence is a constant target of protesters.

The cameraman, Imad Muhammad Intisar Boghnat, was arrested and charged as a result of violent riots in the Arab village of Bil'in, in the Modi'in region, on October 6, 2006. A videotape that the prosecution presented to the judge shows Boghnat encouraging and directing rioters in Bil'in to throw large chunks of rock at Israeli vehicles in such a way as to cause maximum damage. The accused is heard shouting, "Throw, throw!" and later, "Throw towards the little window!"

This is not the first time that members of the media have taken an active role in the story. Reuters itself was accused in September 2006 of misusing press vehicles to transport Hamas-linked Palestinians, while the entire issue is best summed up by Fayad Abu Shamala, a BBC correspondent in Gaza, who declared at a Hamas rally on May 6, 2001: "Journalists and media organizations [are] waging the campaign shoulder-to-shoulder together with the Palestinian people."


Meanwhile, according to the Jerusalem Post, a pro-Israel Muslim journalist was recently attacked and beaten by a crowd in Bangladesh that allegedly included leading officials of the country's ruling party. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of the Weekly Blitz newspaper is facing charges of blasphemy, sedition, treason and espionage in connection with his articles critical of Islamic extremism and favorable to Israel. If convicted, Choudhury faces the death penalty. HonestReporting stands with those few brave journalists who are prepared to promote mutual understanding between Muslims and Jews and we call on our subscribers to join the campaign to free Choudhury.


HonestReporting has been covering the defamation case brought by state-run TV network France-2 against individuals who claim the September 2000 footage showing the death of Mohammad Al-Durah is a hoax. Now, Richard Landes writes in the New Republic on How French TV Fudged the Death of Mohammed Al Durah:

...when I saw the raw footage in the summer of 2003-especially when I saw the scene Enderlin had cut, wherein the boy (allegedly shot in the stomach, but holding his hand over his eyes) picks up his elbow and looks around-I realized that this was not a film of a boy dying, but a clumsily staged scene.

On October 31, 2003, at the studios of France2 in Jerusalem in the company of Charles Enderlin and his Israeli cameraman, I saw the raw footage of Al Durah from the only Palestinian cameraman who actually captured the scene on film-footage France2 still refuses to release for public examination. I was floored. The tapes feature a long succession of obviously faked injuries; brutal, hasty evacuation scenes; and people ducking for cover while others stand around. One fellow grabbed his leg in agony, then, upon seeing that no one would come to carry him away, walked away without a limp. It was stunning. That was no cameraman's conspiracy: It was everyone-a public secret about which news consumers had no clue.

HonestReporting will continue covering this important case when it returns to court in the near future.


The latest HonestReporting UK communique details how the BBC is fighting to prevent access to the Balen Report into the Corporation's Mideast coverage. Does the BBC have something to hide? Does the Balen Report contain the "smoking gun"? HonestReporting submitted a request for access that was denied by the BBC. Find out more on this and the BBC's journalists' terminology guide to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by visiting HonestReporting UK and subscribe for focused coverage of the British media.


Mistakes are thankfully rare, but, unlike some of the media outlets that we critique, HonestReporting is not afraid to correct ourselves. In our last communique, we should have mentioned that, irrespective of Tyler Hicks' explanation, the photo in question has previously been proven to be staged. And for those geography buffs who caught the typo - North Korea is, of course, located in North-East Asia.

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