France2: Free the Secret Muhammad al Durah Tapes

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To Patrick de Carolis, France2 Television

France2: Release the Secret Muhammad al Durah Tapes!

People around the world who depend on the media for reliability, accuracy, and transparency in reporting, demand that France2 release the unedited video tapes ("rushes") that its Palestinian cameraman, Talal abu Rahmah, sent them on September 30 and October 1, 2000 from Gaza.

On September 30, 2000, your Middle East correspondent Charles Enderlin, broadcast a story about Muhammad al-Durah, a 12-year old Palestinian boy. Using the footage and the testimony from his cameraman, Talal abu Rahmah, Enderlin reported that Israeli soldiers had targeted and killed the boy. That allegation of deliberate murder spread instantaneously around the world.

Extensive doubts have emerged about almost every claim of this explosive report, and they raise serious questions about both the journalistic integrity of the cameraman and the professional judgment of his employer, your correspondent Charles Enderlin.

As a result, the raw footage France2 received from Talal abu Rahmah represent key evidence in this crucial case.

But instead of releasing the tapes, your institution has responded to criticism of your correspondent's broadcast by suing French citizens for defamation and keeping the tapes secret for nearly seven years now.

If France2 reports the news responsibly and uses reliable cameramen, you have nothing to hide. Show the tapes and let the public judge.

Whatever political or religious beliefs we hold, whatever we now think about what happened on September 30, 2000, we, the undersigned, believe that all the victims and all of their loved ones on both sides of the terrible war for which Muhammad al-Durahs image served as the icon deserve that this evidence at last be shown.

We, the undersigned, respectfully, but firmly, request that France2 release all the tapes for September 30 and October 1, 2000 for public inspection immediately.