Journalists Should Condemn Cruelty of Shahira Amin, Egypt TV

Third Geneva Convention, Article 13: “…prisoners of war must at all times be protected…against insults and public curiosity.”

On Oct. 17, as Gilad Shalit was being brought back to Israel as agreed, Egypt TV–colluding with Egyptian intelligence and Hamas terrorists–interrupted his journey to force him to answer questions on camera. Shalit, confused and uncomfortable, was made to answer a prepared set of questions designed to flatter his Palestinian captors and the post-Mubarak Egyptian regime.

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His responses were deliberately mis-translated, as Amir Mizroch points out:

Some of Shalit’s quotes were mistranslated by the translator…

Shalit said “I don’t feel very well, am not used to seeing so many people,” but the translator said: “He feels well, thanks the people who freed him.”

The Egyptian journalist, Shahira Amin, also attempted to use Shalit–one last time–to apply pressure on the Israeli government to release more Palestinian terrorists. As Mizroch relates:

I don’t know where Gilad found the strength to deal with this.

And when the interviewer asks: There are 4,000 Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails, will you campaign to free them?

He replies, with intelligence and dignity: I will be glad if they are released, and if they do not continue fighting against Israel. I hope this deal furthers peace between Israel and Palestinians and that there will be no more wars between them.

Forcing a prisoner to participate in televised propaganda is not only cruel; it is also a violation of Article 13 of the Third Geneva Convention, which prohibits the use of prisoners for “public curiosity”–in this case, propaganda.Hamas is not a party to that treaty, but Egypt certainly is.

Israelis are justifiably furious. Amin, when confronted by the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, played dumb:

It’s true that he was brought in by armed Hamas men, but in the room itself there were only Egyptian intelligence people. They didn’t intervene, and neither did the Hamas men. I say this with complete authority and responsibility: I asked Gilad if he was willing to be interviewed and he said he was. If he’d answered that he didn’t, I wouldn’t have conducted the interview.

Amin’s answer is an insult to the readers of Ha’aretz and to the members of her profession. It is incumbent upon journalists throughout the free world to speak out against Shahira Amin and Egypt TV for their participation in a wanton violation of international humanitarian law, for their journalistic malpractice, and for detaining Gilad Shalit for even one additional minute.

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