AP Protests Threats to Cameraman
The Associated Press
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001; 6:02 p.m. EDT
JERUSALEM -- The Associated Press on Wednesday protested to the Palestinian
Authority about threats against a freelance camerman who filmed Palestinians
celebrating terror attacks in the United States.
The videographer, on assignment for Associated Press Television News, was
summoned to a Palestinian Authority security office and told that the
material must not be aired. Calls in the name of the Tanzim militia, an
armed group associated with Yasser Arafat's Fatah group, warned him he would
be held responsible and made what he interpreted as threats on his life.
Several Palestinian Authority officials spoke to AP in Jerusalem urging that
the material not be broadcast. Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Arafat's Cabinet
secretary, said the Palestinian Authority "cannot guarantee the life" of the
cameraman if the footage was broadcast.
The cameraman then requested that the material not be aired. In light of the
danger, APTN has not released the footage of the rally in Nablus.
AP news stories reported worldwide on the demonstration in Nablus and AP
distributed still pictures and video of similar rallies in east Jerusalem,
Lebanon and elsewhere. An AP still photographer did not take pictures of the
Nablus rally after being warned at the scene not to do so.
The protest by AP Chief of Bureau Dan Perry said, "I ask the assurances of
the Palestinian Authority that you will protect our journalists from threats
and attempts at intimidation and that no harm would come to our freelance
cameraman from distribution of the film."