Doing journalism in Lebanon

August 28, 2008

Menassat has the low down on the difficulties working in Hezbollah-controlled territory in Lebanon. Detentions and iterrogation of foreign journalists is on the rise. Haji Wafa of Hezbollah’s press office tries to explain,

David Hury, a French journalist, was detained on August 12, taken to different locations and questioned for six hours about his professional and private life before being released. On August 15, two visiting Brazilian journalists, Marcos Losekan and Paulo Pimentel of Globo TV, and a Beirut-based Brazilian journalist, Tariq Saleh, who works for the Brazilian service of the BBC, went through almost the exact same experience. link

Haji Wafa responds int he case of the the French reporter,

“Let me at least tell you what happened with the French reporter, David Hury. He never came to us, and we never saw him. I was out of the country and I got a call that a journalist was in a very sensitive area. With the daily Israeli threats, what was I to do? We stopped him and we spoke to him, to know his identity at least and why was he there taking pictures. We definitely didn’t arrest him. We just drank coffee with him and tried to know him better.”

The whole interview is worth a read if just to gain an insight of where the Hezbollah press office is coming from, but to zip to the conclusion,

As one foreign journalist said on condition of anonymity, “It is becoming such a hassle to get the point of view of the people in those areas that often you just don’t bother anymore.” link