Israel indicts two journalists for violating censorship

January 14th, 2009 - 12:39 am ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, Jan 13 (DPA) Two east Jerusalem employees of a production company servicing various media outlets worldwide, including one based in Iran, were indicted in Israel Tuesday for breaking Israeli military censorship, the Ynet news site reported.Kadir Shahin, a reporter with Iranian Arabic-speaking Alalam television station, and producer Muhammad Sarhan are accused of reporting that Israeli ground troops had entered the Gaza Strip Jan 3, before the information was cleared for publication.

According to the indictment, filed in the Jerusalem District court, the two were reporting from the Israeli side of the Gaza border when they spotted Israeli forces gearing up for the ground incursion into the Strip.

Although allegedly aware the information had not been cleared by the military censor, they two began a live broadcast detailing the troops’ moves, the indictment charges.

According to the prosecution, their broadcast included information which they knew could easily find its way to viewers in Gaza, including Hamas members, with whom Israel is located in combat in the salient.

The prosecution also asked the court to remand the two in custody until the end of the legal proceedings against them, arguing that their office is based in the West Bank city of Ramallah, thus posing a risk they could try to flee if released.

Foreign correspondents working in Israel are required to sign a form agreeing to abide by military censorship regulations.

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