Red Cross Did Not Examine Gilad Shalit Before Controversial Egyptian Interview

October 27, 2011


That Egyptian interview with Gilad Shalit took place before any medics had a chance to check his condition. Investigative journalist Robert Behar (Forbes) blows the lid:
Last week, I sent an email to the interviewer, Shahira Amin, Egypt’s most famous TV journalist – posted afterwards in a news story.
Three days ago, she responded at great length in an email, most of which she subsequently published in an open letter in the Jerusalem Post. In her email to me, Amin defends her decision to conduct the interview with Shalit – in part because she says the interview was conducted “AFTER [her caps] he had been released by Hamas and had a medical checkup by the Red Cross.”

But here’s the problem: Red Cross spokesman Hicham Hassan wrote me today that “ICRC representatives met Mr. Shalit briefly after his transfer to the Egyptian authorities. However, he was not met by an IRC doctor as this has [sic] not been solicited.”
And just what did that mean for the interview?
Dr. Nancy Zarse
“This was an illusion of choice,” says Dr. Nancy Zarse of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, an expert in hostage negotiations for the FBI, federal prisons, and the Chicago Police. “I watched the video of the interview. There was evidence of increased autonomic [nervous system] arousal, a lot of heavy breathing, and there were times that I thought he looked scared. This wasn’t really that you have the option to say no. I haven’t met or spoken with him, but I would understand that an individual like this still feels captive – that an interview like this would become part and parcel of the captivity.”
The Geneva Conventions of 1949 have long been used to protect the human dignity of current and former war prisoners. While those laws apply to governments, and not media organizations, keep in mind that the Shalit interview was conducted for Egyptian state TV – an arm of government. Since 2003, the British Red Cross and the British Government have made efforts to provide an updated interpretation of the requirement to protect prisoners of war or civilian internees against “insults and public curiosity” by TV media. For one thing, the Red Cross notes, publicity can humiliate the person and make his return to his own country more difficult. And many of those interviews are done “under duress.”
The interview wasn’t just exploitative, it was abusive and clearly a humiliating extension of Shalit’s captivity. image via CAMERA Snapshots: Shahira Amin: Just Looking Out for Gilad

Tell CNN to fire Shahira Amin – Action Alerts

October 25, 2011

Egyptian journalist Shahira Amin conducted a forced, demeaning and immoral interview with Gilad Shalit just before he was released from five years of captivity by the terrorist organization Hamas. This gross violation of Gilad Shalit’s rights, and human decency, could possibly amount to torture and be punishable by law.
During the interview Shalit was so tired and weak from his mistreatment in captivity that he was hardly able to answer Amin’s questions. Masked Hamas men were in the room during the interview.
You can read more about the interview and watch the video on our blog posting or at Honest Reporting’s analysis of the incident.
Shahira Amin is a journalist for CNN. Amin proved yesterday that not only can she not be trusted to fairly report the news but that she may even be complicit in greater crimes.
In order for CNN to deliver fair and unbiased news coverage of the Middle East they must drop Shahira Amin as a journalist.
Send an email to CNN today telling them that they cannot continue to employ a “journalist” who is willing to torment a scared and sick boy.
Here is the link to contact CNN: CNN News Room
Sample Letter
(You may highlight/select and copy… paste into your message to CNN)
Dear News Editor,
CNN reporter Shahira Amin violated all journalistic standards and human decency during her forced interview of the released Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Her claims that the scared and sick soldier was not under duress at the time simply do not match the facts or fit with the video she has released of the interview.
With armed Hamas gunmen nearby and a masked Hamas terrorist in the room it is obvious that Shalit had no choice but to agree to the interview and answer questions in a way so as to not upset the terrorists around him. Looking sick from over five years of mistreatment by Hamas terrorists, Shalit obviously barely had enough energy to conduct the interview. Shalit’s breathing was labored and he had trouble composing himself.
As a respected international news organization CNN must immediately cease to work with the disgraced journalist Shahira Amin. If CNN’s trusted word is to remain just that it cannot continue its relationship with a journalist who is willing to torment a scared and abused prisoner and delay his release. Amin violated what of the most fundamental rules of journalism by becoming part of and influencing the story rather than reporting on it. Shahira Amin’s actions have proven that she cannot accurately and fairly report from the Middle East and it would be unbefitting of CNN to publish her biased work. I ask you to immediately and unconditionally end CNN’s agreement with Amin.
Your support and participation is deeply appreciated.  Let’s make a difference! via