All reporting from Israel is subject to censorship laws.
SV PULL BACK TO GV: Signpost for Damascus and Bhamdoon. Road with civilian traffic
GV PAN Israeli tank and IDF forces in Bhamdoon, Occupied Lebanon
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS ITEM CONTAINS FIVE SECONDS OF BLACK
SVs (MUTE) STILL pictures of Palestine prisoners in magazines and newspapers (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: All reporting from Israel is subject to censorship laws. Visnews, like other television agencies and organisations, must get official clearance before it can satellite or airfreight its news reports out of Israel. Normally the attitude of the censors is benign, rarely, if ever interfering in the content of stories. However, since the invasion of Lebanon, censorship has been rigorously applied, especially on material concerning Palestinians. On June 26, a Visnews electronic crew taped a story of Israeli armour on the cutskirts of Beirut, at Bhamdoon near the Damascus-Beirut road, as seen this repot, and suspected members of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in Israeli custody. The story was due to have been included in separate satellite transmissions ordered by the European Broadcasting Union, EBU and the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC. But the Israeli censor refused to allow the sequence on the prisoners to leave the country. The reason given was that the Israeli government did not want to PLO to know who it was holding prisoner. Visnews was forced to abide by the censor's decision -- the five seconds of black in this story marks where the sequence in question would have been. Censorship was applied despite the fact that pictures of Palestinian prisoners have appeared in other western news outlets. Visnews will continue to submit the pictures to the Israeli censor in the hope of a change of mind to allow them to be freely used.