CAMERA Op-Ed: Terrorist Groups Intimidate Journalists to Influence Coverage

On Aug. 21, 2021, Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF) assaulted two Washington Post employees, Sufian Taha and Salwan Georges. The Post staffers were covering a protest against the PA in Ramallah’s Manara Square.

According to an Aug. 24, 2021 statement by the Foreign Press Association (FPA), a “Palestinian policeman grabbed” Georges while he was taking pictures of the PA arresting protesters. The policeman “seized the camera” and “held the photographer’s neck and tore his press badge.” Although Georges “explained that he was with the international media and tried to hold onto his camera…additional security men surrounded him, taking away the camera and telling him: ‘Here it’s different. We don’t care.’”

The FPA noted that “police held on to the camera for over an hour, deleting seven photos and preventing him from doing his job. When the camera was returned, both journalists were ordered to leave and told there would be a ‘big problem’ if photos of one of the officers were published.”

As of Aug. 25, 2021, the Washington Post itself, including the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau chief, have yet to release a statement.

CAMERA has frequently highlighted how terrorist groups and authoritarians use intimidation to distort news coverage—including, most recently, in an Aug. 19, 2021 op-ed for the Washington Examiner, which can be found here.