Tom Perry Gloats with his Brothers in Arms
Reuters propagandist Tom Perry writes about Hamas “stealing the thunder” from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for successfully
blackmailing negotiating the release of over 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Israeli Gilad Shalit. Here’s how Perry describes these Palestinian prisoners:
Though lacking Saadat and Barghouti, the swap will resonate with Palestinians, who regard the 6,000 or more prisoners held by Israel as national heroes and freedom fighters.
From a domestic perspective, the timing comes at a good moment for Hamas. A hunger strike among Palestinian prisoners whose demands include an end to solitary confinement is making daily headlines in the Palestinian media.
Not once in his 700+ word piece does Perry balance his parroting of Palestinian rhetoric with a mention of the crimes committed by these prisoners, including the 400 serving life sentences for murder. This is a blatant violation of both the Reuters Trust Principles and the agency’s Handbook of Journalism:
As Reuters journalists, we never identify with any side in an issue, a conflict or a dispute. Our text and visual stories need to reflect all sides, not just one […] Similarly in a political dispute or military conflict, there are always at least two sides to consider and we risk being perceived as biased if we fail to give adequate space to the various parties.
Perry suggests Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike to demand an end to solitary confinement but in fact, there are only about 20 Palestinians in solitary — those convicted of the most heinous crimes. The rest are demanding they be able to take university courses and receive Arab TV channels.