[NEWS AND VIEWS]
« We'll tell you why. | Home | Get set for 12/12/2004. »
December 12, 2003Reporters excluded. Eight reporters were barred from the summit on Friday following a peaceful protest against Israel.
The correspondants from I'Lam - the media centre for Arabs48 (the Palestinians who stayed in their homes when Israel was created) - arranged their demonstration in advance with WSIS security.
They were granted permission to silently hold placards for 10 minutes saying "Free Israel", "Free Iraq" and "Stop the Wall" - the giant barrier currently being built by the Israeli government.
But when they passed through security barriers following the event they were refused re-entry. "The chief of security said that we were told there would be consequences to what we did and that it was illegal," Salma Khashiboum said.
"But we arranged it with them before the demonstration and they said we could come back in. They say that all our names have been sent to New York and we will never be allowed to another summit."
"We shouldn't be punished and treated as trouble makers or terrorists. This is a summit about information and the freedom of expression."
A spokesperson from the summit organisers told us that "the cancellation of the badges was a regrettable incident which was not intended and is the result of a misunderstanding in the agreement reached between the various parties".
Journalistic freedom has already been a controversial issue at the summit after Reporters Sans Frontiers were banned before the event even began.