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article imageAl-Jazeera reporter asked to remove bra at Netanyahu event

By Subir Ghosh     Jan 12, 2011 in World
A pregnant reporter with al-Jazeera TV channel was barred from an annual event for foreign journalists addressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for refusing to remove her bra during security check.
Najwan Simri Diab told news portal Ynetnews that she was asked to stand in the queue with colleagues and journalists on her arrival to the event venue. She noticed that the guards had created separate queues for Arabs and other journalists.
Simri Diab, who is based in Israel, said she had complained to the guards that she could not stand up longer because of her pregnancy. They told her to sit down and wait. They later took her downstairs and asked her to remove her clothes and she complied. "I was left with just my undershirt and trousers, without my shoes and the rest of my equipment," she said. The security check did not end there and she was later asked to remove her bra.
"I asked why, but the female officer insisted. Her supervisor came over later and insisted as well. I refused and she said, 'So you won't go in,'" Simri Diab said.
The al-Jazeera journalist then approached Government Press Office Director Oren Helman, who organised the event and told him that due to the demands placed by Israel's internal security agency Shin Bet that handled the programme, all al-Jazeera correspondents decided to boycott the event.
"We tried to facilitate quick and easy entrance of foreign reporters into the hall and even sent an announcement detailing the hours of admission ahead of time," Helman reacted.
Shin Bet said in response, "All guests were subjected to a security check in accordance with the customary procedures in such events. Three female reporters refused to be examined and decided not to attend the event".
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