Early today, June 26, the AP’s chief TV producer was barred from covering the prime minister’s meeting with Prince William at the prime minister’s official residence following a blatant case of ethnic profiling.
The producer, an Albanian national and accredited international journalist based in Israel for three years, was repeatedly asked by security guards about his “extraction,” while other AP staffers were asked about his religion and whether he was a "Muslim".
It should be noted that the producer had registered for the event ahead of time and been assured by the prime minister’s office that he would be allowed to enter. He also was meant to be the pool reporter for international media. The producer and an AP cameraman appeared at the prime minister’s residence two and a half hours ahead of the scheduled event to allow time for security checks.
The Foreign Press Association condemns this disgraceful and indefensible behavior by the prime minister’s security staff in the strongest terms.
Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long line of offensive and unprecedented behavior by security staff, including inappropriate personal questions and strip searches of journalists trying to cover the news.
We call on the prime minister’s office to apologize immediately, and urge the Duke of Cambridge’s office to speak out against this offensive behavior, which has marred a historic visit. Enough is enough
The FPA deplores the Palestinian Authority security forces' treatment of journalists covering the protests in Ramallah on Wednesday, June 13.
At least one journalist reported being punched, kicked, and assaulted with a baton by members of the security forces. Several journalists were detained without cause and forced to delete photographs from phones and cameras.
This behaviour is completely unacceptable. Covering peaceful demonstrations is one of the most basic jobs of the media and journalists should be able to do so without fear of attack or censorship.
The FPA urges the Palestinian Authority to investigate this incident and to apologize. June 14
FPA expresses its deep sympathy over the death of Gaza journalist Yasser Murtaja, who was fatally shot while covering a border demonstration in Gaza yesterday.
We urge the army to show restraint in areas where journalists are operating and to conduct a fast and open investigation into this incident.
We also remind our members to exercise utmost caution when covering these events. April 7, 2018
The FPA protests the deplorable situation in the Old City of Jerusalem where tourists were given access while accredited journalists and photojournalists were held back and relegated to distant positions totally useless for reporting. July 23rd 2017.
Early this morning, a journalist from Finland’s state broadcaster who is accredited by the GPO was forced to undergo an overly zealous and demeaning security check at the prime minister’s office when she arrived to cover the arrival of Mike Pence.
The woman was taken behind a curtain, questioned, patted down and scanned with a metal detector _ all apparently because she is of Palestinian descent. Security personnel then ordered the woman to remove her bra, and when she refused, barred her from the event.
Unfortunately, this was just the latest instance of journalists being needlessly hassled by Israeli security in what we believe is clear ethnic profiling. The repugnant practice of strip searching journalists puts Israel in a category all of its own and is a mark of shame for a country that boasts of its democratic credentials.
The FPA has repeatedly expressed its understanding of Israel’s unique security needs, and we are all used to the lengthy check-in process at official events. But given all of the technology and intelligence at Israel’s fingertips, we fail to see any good reason for the continued humiliation of professional accredited journalists and can only conclude that this only-in-Israel practice is aimed at making people feel unwelcome and keeping them away.
We urge all members to keep reporting to us any difficulties with security, and would encourage those who are covering the Pence visit to mention this incident.
January 22, 2018
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