[Fwd: IFEX Alert For MED TV]

Carlos Moreno R. (caos@anditel.andinet.lat.net)
Thu, 21 Nov 1996 02:56:51 -0800


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Subject: IFEX Alert For MED TV
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International Freedom of Expression eXchange Clearing House
Action Alert

Date: November 18, 1996

BELGIUM: Problems continue for MED TV/ROJ NV

ORIGINATOR: International Federation of Journalists (IFJ),
Brussels

The IFJ and the Association of Professional Journalists of
Belgium (AGJPB) are disturbed by the continuing problems at the
Kurdish television station MED TV/ROJ NV.
According to information the two organizations have
received, including from officers of the police special
investigations' brigade (BOB by its Flemish acronym), the Belgian
authorities are maintaining that MED TV/ROJ NV in itself is not
the subject of a criminal investigation and that there is no
conscious will on the part of the authorities to close down the
production studios. However, this has been the practical
consequence of the investigation.
If, indeed, the authorities do not wish to shut down
production at this studio, IFJ and the AGJPB suggest certain
procedures which could be undertaken to enable the newsroom to go
back into production, without impinging on the investigation:

1. The betacam recorders and monitors removed from the newsroom
could be returned forthwith. This material is essential to the
work of the newsroom and without it no production can take place.
Further, the cables removed from the newsroom should be returned.

2. The archival books should be returned to the library of ROJ NV
and to the desks of journalists at the newsroom. If questions
arise as to the subject matter of a book, police should contact
the publisher, but not confiscate the legitimate property of
journalists.

3. Video archives, in particular those of Reuters and the British
Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), should be returned. If the
grounds of the raid given to IFJ are correct, Reuters and BBC
should be contacted directly, but the videos should not have been
removed from these studios.

Further, officers removed video material which was filmed in
and around Turkey, and contained statements and information from
Turkish and Kurdish individuals. Any such material, when
broadcast through MED TV, is first subjected to a pixelating or
other procedures in order to protect the anonymity of the
contributors. This technique is not applied directly to the
originals and therefore the BOB have confiscated highly sensitive
videos. This is a direct attack on professional journalists'
right to protect their sources, however, of even more immediate
concern is the fact that if any of these videos are in any way
released to members of the Turkish authorities, the people
displayed on them could be in serious physical danger.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Send appeals to authorities below:

- urging that they undertake all the measures mentioned above;
- if they are not willing to return the videos forthwith,
requesting to be provided with the guarantee that they have
neither been shown, nor will be shown, to any member or
representative of the Turkish authorities;
- requesting that the journalists at MED TV/ROJ NV be provided
with a complete inventory of what was removed from the station;
- expressing dismay that, when undertaking such an investigation,
the Belgian authorities have failed to protect the essential
human right to freedom of expression and its corollary, the
protection of sources.

APPEALS TO:

Mr Burm
Juge d'Instruction [examining judge]
Fax: +508 71 61

Mr Degemeppe
Procureur du Roi [Crown Prosecutor]
Fax: +508 70 97

Mr Vandewijngaarden
Operation Sputnik
Fax number unknown

Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.

For further information, contact Cailin Mackenzie at the IFJ, Rue
Royale, 266, B-1210 Brussels, Belgium, tel:+322 223 2265 or +322
219 7780, fax:+322 219 2976, e-mail: ifjsafenet@gn.apc.org.

The information contained in this alert update is the sole
responsibility of its originator.

IFEX CLEARING HOUSE
490 Adelaide St. W. #205 Toronto ONT M5V 1T2 CANADA
tel: 416-703-1638 fax: 416-703-7034
e-mail: ifex@web.net
World Wide Web: http://www.ifex.org/

-----

Echange international de la liberte d'expression MISE A JOUR
D'ALERTE

Date: le 18 novembre 1996

BELGIQUE: Problemes constants pour MED TV/ROJ NV

INITIATEUR: Federation internationale des journalistes (FIJ),
Bruxelles

Mise a jour des alertes de l'IFEX des 8 octobre et 20 septembre
1996

La FIJ et l'Association generale des journalistes
professionnels de Belgique (AGJPB), sont preoccupes par les
problemes constants que rencontre MED TV/ROJ NV.
D'apres les informations que la FIJ et l'AGJPB ont recues, y
compris celles de la Brigade speciale de recherche (BSR), les
autorites belges confirment que MED TV/ROJ NV en soi n'est pas
l'objet dune enquete criminelle, et qu'il n'y a aucune volonte
consciente de la part des autorites de fermer les studios de
production. Il n'empeche, cependant, que c'est precisement ce qui
a resulte de l'enquete.
Si, en effet, il n'est pas dans l'intention des autorites de
fermer la production de ce studio, la FIJ y l'AGJPB suggerent
certaines procedures qui pourraient etre suivies afin de
permettre a la salle de redaction de reprendre la production,
sans pour autant empieter sur l'enquete:

1. Les enregistreurs betacam et les ecrans de controle qui ont
ete soustraits de la salle de redaction pourraient y etre
replaces des maintenant. Il est absolument essentiel que la salle
de redaction soit en possession de ce materiel sans lequel il ne
peut y avoir de production. De plus, les cables qui ont ete
enleves devraient y etre replaces egalement.

2. Les livres d'archives devraient etre remis a ROJ NV et aux
journalistes de la salle de redaction. Si des questions se posent
quant au sujet traite dans un livre, la police devrait contacter
l'editeur, et non pas confisquer ce qui est la propriete legitime
des journalistes.

3. Les archives video, en particulier celles de Reuters et de la
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) devraient etre rendues. Si
les motifs qui ont ete donnes pour justifier la descente sont
corrects, Reuters et la BBC devraient etre contactes directement,
mais les videos n'auraient pas du etre sortis des studios.
En outre, des agents ont confisque des videos qui avaient ete
tournes en Turquie et aux alentours, et qui contiennent des
declarations et des informations d'individus turcs et kurdes. Un
tel materiel, quand il est diffuse par MED TV, est d'abord soumis
a un brouillage ou a toute autre technique permettant de proteger
l'anonymat des collaborateurs. Cette technique n'est pas
appliquee directement aux originaux. La BSR a donc confisque du
materiel video hautement sensible. Ceci constitue une attaque
directe du droit des journalistes professionnels a la protection
de leurs sources. Cependant, ce qui est encore plus inquietant
dans ce cas precis, c'est que si ces videos sont, d'une facon ou
d'une autre, remises aux autorites turques, les personnes
visibles sur les videos pourraient etre physiquement en danger.

ACTION RECOMMANDEE:

Faire appel aux autorites ci-dessous en:

- les priant instamment d'entreprendre les actions qui leur sont
demandees ci-dessus;
- si elles n'ont pas l'intention de rendre ces videos a MED
TV/ROJ NV de suite, leur demandant des garanties qu'elles n'ont
jamais ete et qu'elle ne seront pas montrees a un membre ou a un
representant des autorites turques, quel qu'il soit;
- demandant que soit remis aux journalistes de MED TV/ROJ NV un
inventaire complet de ce qui a ete saisi a la station;
- en denoncant que, par le recours a une telle enquete, les
autorites belges ont omis de proteger ce droit humain essentiel
qu'est la liberte d'expression et son corollaire, la protection
des sources.

FAIRE APPEL A:

M Burm
Juge d'Instruction
Telecopieur: +508 71 61

M Degemeppe
Procureur du Roi
Telecopieur: +508 70 97

M Vandewijngaarden
Operation Sputnik
Aucun numero de telecopieur disponible

Envoyer des copies de vos protestations a l'initiateur si
possible.

Pour plus de renseignements, contacter Cailin Mackenzie, FIJ, rue
Royale, 266, B-1210 Bruxelles, Belgique, tel:+322 223 2265 ou
+322 219 7780, telec:+322 219 2976, courrier electronique:
ifjsafenet@gn.apc.org.

L'initiateur est responsable de toute information contenue dans
cette alerte.

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