Palestinian Territories - Palestinian Authority sabotages report by Al Jazeera crew

    MONTREAL, June 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders condemns the
erasure of Al Jazeera video footage by Palestinian Authority security
officials yesterday on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Hebron. The
erased footage dealt with a suspect's death in detention.
    "Journalists must be able to work freely," Reporters Without Borders
said. "The erasure of this video footage proves that the Palestinian security
forces try to cover up their human rights violations. This incident should the
subject of an enquiry by the Palestinian Authority."
    Walid Omari, the head of the Qatar-based satellite TV station's
operations in the West Bank, told Reporters Without Borders that his crew was
preparing a report on the death of a detainee at the Palestinian Authority
detention centre in Hebron that might have been the result of torture.
    "We were the only ones to investigate this case and we did it despite
strong pressure from the Palestinian Authority," Omari said.
    Al Jazeera's Hebron correspondent went with a cameraman to the deceased
detainee's home in the village of Dura, where they interviewed the family and
filmed the body. As they were returning to Hebron in a vehicle displaying the
word "Press", they were detained by Palestinian Authority security forces at a
checkpoint and were taken to a police post where the video footage they had
just recorded was erased. They were allowed to go after an hour.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4188, Fax: (514)

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