Category: Press Releases, MENA, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian Territories
By: Naomi Hunt, Senior Press Freedom Adviser

Palestinian Journalists Reportedly Threatened for Photographing Naomi Campbell

IPI Concerned at Harassment

A member from the Greek Orthodox clergy (L) stands in front of Palestinian police officers as they guard during scuffles between members of the Armenian and Greek Orthodox clergy in the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 28, 2011. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

By: Naomi Hunt, Senior Press Freedom Adviser

VIENNA, May 24, 2012 – The International Press Institute (IPI) is concerned by news reports that journalists attempting to photograph a visit by supermodel Naomi Campbell to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem were “harassed” by Palestinian security forces.  

Although Palestinian state television was able to exclusively interview Campbell, who was celebrating her 42nd birthday in Israel, other journalists were reportedly prevented from taking pictures, according to a report from Ma’an News Agency.  Palestinian security forces, not members of Campbell’s private security detail, also threatened to break reporters’ cameras if they came near, according to a translation of an article in Al-Ayyam newspaper that was emailed to IPI.

Palestinian officials “threatened to punish people speaking to reporters,” according to a report from the Associated Press.

“We are concerned by news reports that security forces working for the Palestinian Authority threatened journalists who attempted to take pictures of a public figure as she visited a public space,” said IPI Press Freedom Manager Barbara Trionfi. “Journalists must be able to do their jobs without fear of harassment.”

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