News Headlines Thursday July 31st 2003
ISRAEL APOLOGISES AFTER SOLDIER CALLS FRENCH JOURNALIST A 'NAZI'
Israel has reprimanded a soldier who called a French journalist a Nazi when the cameraman asserted his right to film a fence being built near Bethlehem. The soldier also repeatedly swore at the journalist and threatened to break his camera.
The entire episode was caught on tape by a French TV crew and broadcast on Israeli television. The Israel Defence Forces said it regarded the incident as a serious matter and apologised to both the journalist and his news organisation.
INDONESIA SEEKS JAIL FOR US FREELANCER
Indonesian prosecutors are seeking a two-month jail sentence for an American journalist who ran with rebels in Aceh, province where the military has launched a massive assault against a separatist movement.
William Nessen is accused of failing to show his passport to authorities when asked, not having permission from the manpower ministry to work in Aceh and not having a press card.
Nessen said he lost his passport during a clash between rebel fighters and military troops and had been afraid to leave the rebels because he feared he would become a victim of the bloody conflict. The American has been in custody since June 24 when he finally surrendered to the military. A verdict is due on Saturday.
US ARMY PROBING CLAIMS JAPANESE JOURNALIST ASSAULTED IN IRAQ
The US army said it was investigating claims that a Japanese journalist was physically assaulted by American troops in Iraq.
Eyewitnesses said Japan Press reporter Kazutaka Sato, 47, was thrown to the ground and kicked by US soldiers as he tried to take photographs of Iraqis killed in a US raid. He then had his hands tied and was detained for one hour.
A senior US military official said he personally did not believe the troops detained Sato, but that an investigation was underway.
REPORT ATTACKS ISRAELI ARMY OVER JOURNALISTS' DEATHS
A press freedom group has issued a report on the Israeli army's inquiries into the fatal shootings of two journalists in the Occupied Territories in April and May.
Reporters Without Borders has criticised the investigations, accusing the military of acting with a lack of rigour and determination.
The report, 'Israeli army's attitude: Regret, but no real inquiries and certainly no one punished,' calls for proper investigations that could lead to the prosecution and punishment of those responsible. The report looks at the military's response to the deaths of Palestinian cameraman Nazeh Darwazi, in Nablus, on April 19 and British documentary filmmaker James Miller, in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, on May 2.
JOURNALISTS' GUIDES STILL IMPRISONED IN LAOS
Appeals have been issued for the release of two Laotians, detained for working as guides for two journalists.
Thao Moua and Pa Phue Khan received prison sentences of 12 and 15 years respectively and are imprisoned in Vientiane. The reporters, Thierry Falise and Vincent Reynaud, who were making a documentary in the country, have appealed to Laotian authorities to release the pair.
CAMPAIGNERS CALL FOR RELEASE OF TWO IRANIAN REPORTERS
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has written to Iranian authorities calling for the release of two journalists being detained by US forces.
Said Abu Taleb and Soheil Kareemi, who were working for Iranian State Television, have been held since July 1 when they were working on a documentary for Iran's Channel 2 television in Diwaniyah, a town in southern Iraq.
A coalition spokesman reportedly said the journalists were being held for committing "security violations" and that they were "not acting in a journalistic capacity when they were arrested". The CPJ has demanded evidence for those accusations.