EU: Attacking the media

EU: Attacking the media

Several stories from the past couple of weeks, all involving attacks on the media.  The reasons are different every time, but the bottom line is the same.  As FOX News reported last month, they needed a police escort to film in an immigrant neighborhood and were advised at some point to just stay in the car.

Netherlands, April 13

Between ten and fifteen Moroccan youth troubled a reporting team of the television program Netwerk Monday.  The team was in the Utrecht neighborhood of Zuilen working on a report.  When the youth saw the camera, they got annoyed.  They pushed a couple of journalists and threw candy, confirmed a spokesperson for Netwerk and the police Tuesday.  The police quickly ended the disturbance, after which the team could go on with filming.  "Let's not make this particularly bigger than it was," says the editor, who was part of the reporting team.  "Nobody was injured, no instrument was destroyed.  I've been through a lot worse."

The images were broadcast on the actuality program Wednesday.  Netwerk decided on a film portrait of Zuilen due to a number of incidents in the neighborhood.  Various people were badgered out due to their sexual leanings.  The show will not lodge a complain against the disorderly youth.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch).  See also Netwerk: Onrust Zuilen

Belgium, April 19

A VTM camera team was attacked this afternoon in Schaarbeek (Brussels).  The reporter and a cameraman got a few punches and the discette was taken out of the camera.  The incident was not direcly connected to the shooting incident this evening, according to Eric Goens, spokesperson for VTM.

The camera team was in Schaarbeek at the place where the shooting incident occurred in order to shoot general images.  A youth of immigrant origin riding a scooter wrongly thought that the team was filming traffic violations.  The young man began to threaten the team.  Soon a big group of immigrants gathered and a skirmish developed.  The team received a few punches and the diskette was taken away.  The camera stayed intact.

Source: HLN (Dutch)

See also: Brussels: Moroccan attacks agents, is killed by police

Sweden, April 24

Freelance photographer Jens C Hilner was beaten and robbed of his video camera in Rosengård tonight.  

"I developed good contact with the youth there in recent months - and that's what happens here," he says dejectedly.

It continued not to be calm in Rosengård last night.  For the fourth day in a row containers and tires were set aflame by the youth.  The police and emergency services held back in order not to risk being subjected to stoning.

But photographer Jens C Hilner, often employed by the Kvällsposten, was there as usual in order to shoot the disturbances.

"I stood at midnight by the Shell truck at Ramels väg (Ramel Road) and both photographed and filmed the burning rented trailer," he says. "Suddenly I saw someone running towards me shouting out loud.  I thought that this guy just wanted to test me, but he hit me hard in the face and pushed me down to the ground."

While Jens lay on the ground he was kicked in the side, while the attacker tried to grab his camera.

"I refused to let go of my system camera, so I desperately held on to it.  Instead, this guy managed to grab my video camera and then run away."

Jens went over to the gang of youth and asked them for his video camera back.  

"I asked them to show me the respect that I showed them the past three months," he says.  And actually a guy went off into the street and got the camera back.  Unfortunately it looks pretty damaged.

Jens C Hilner is both shaken and disappointed.

"I learned to know many of the youth in Rosengård and think that we developed a good relationship and good dialog with each other."  He says the youth know he's not out to get them.

"Most are good guys and there was the idea that some of them would appear in an interview in the next few days.  Now I don't know what's happening.  Right now it feels that I'll never want to go to Rosengård again.  But after a night's sleep I will certainly change my mind.  It's important to show what's happening out there."

Jens is sore in the face and a bit black-and-blue after the attack, but he survived the attack without serious injuries.

"Unfortunately I don't think that I will be able to pick out the culprit.  Everything went so fast," he says.

Source: Kvällsposten (Swedish)

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