Saturday, July 23, 2011

Israel PM guards tell women reporters to remove bras, then pass the clothing around for show

Foreign journalists on Friday spoke of their distress after being asked to remove their bras for a security check before being allowed into the offices of Israel's prime minister.

The three women were told by security personnel to undress and take off their bras for x-ray in two separate incidents at the Jerusalem offices of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week.

All three complied with the request, despite the distress it caused, in an incident denounced by the Foreign Press Association (FPA) as "unnecessary, humiliating and counter-productive."

Each of the women was taken behind a curtain in the lobby of the entrance hall and patted down before being told to undress, then their bras were passed out in full view of male and female colleagues and security personnel, to be put through an x-ray machine.

Their personal effects were also emptied out in public view and put through the machine.

"The Foreign Press Association strongly condemns the continued harassment of journalists attending media events at the prime minister?s office," a statement from the Tel-Aviv based group said.

"This type of treatment is unnecessary, humiliating and counter-productive."

Sara Hussein, who works for Agence France-Presse (AFP), described the incident as utterly humiliating. (more)