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September 10, 2007

NYT: 'All the Journalists Are Worried, Scared'

Steven Erlanger of the New York Times reports today on the state of fear and censorship that Gaza journalists live in under the Hamas regime:

Trying to nurture a reputation for honesty and legal behavior since they conquered Gaza in bloody fighting in June, Hamas’s leaders promise journalists freedom of action while the police intimidate them.

One result is a kind of self-censorship, local journalists say, that goes beyond what they traditionally practiced under Fatah, which also tried to pressure, manipulate or own the Palestinian press.

In other words, while talking heads like Mousa Abu Marzook in the Los Angeles Times promise to treat journalists with dignity, Hamas thugs on the ground arrest and beat journalists and confiscate their cameras.

Erlanger reports:

Palestinian journalists describe a confusing situation, in which Hamas, as a fundamentally religious organization new to politics and used to obedience, is putting undue pressure on the news media, especially with regard to the use of television images and photographs. . . .

One policeman told reporters, according to The Associated Press, “If a single shot is on TV, you know what will happen,” then drew a finger across his throat.

Posted by TS at September 10, 2007 02:36 AM

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