Aljazeera clarifies Baldoni video

Aljazeera has denied allegations by the Italian press about the contents of a video tape it received concerning the execution of Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni.

    The Italian journalist was also volunteering with the Red Cross

    Several Italian newspapers speculated on Sunday that the tape, which recently came into Aljazeera's possession, contained

    images of struggle and violence.

    But in a statement on Sunday, Aljazeera called the newspaper allegations "

    an absolute fabrication".

    The channel said the tape - which consisted of only 15 seconds of footage - comprises one image focusing on Baldoni's head, neck and part of his shoulder

    protruding from a sandy ditch.

    In the tape, a purported Iraqi group identifying itself as the Islamic Army in Iraq, said Baldoni had been executed because its

    demands had not been met.

    A previous video broadcast on Aljazeera last week showed the group demanding 3000 Italian occupation troops withdraw from Iraq within 48 hours.

    Distressing

    "In accordance with Aljazeera's policy, and on humane grounds, the channel invited the Italian ambassador in Doha, Giuseppe Buccino, to preview the recording and carry out what

    is deemed appropriate in terms of communicating the unfortunate news to Mr Baldoni's family," the statement read.

    "While broadcasting the news item ... Aljazeera refrained from airing the footage as it might be distressing for its viewers"

    Aljazeera statement

    "While broadcasting the news item ... Aljazeera refrained from airing the footage as it might be distressing for its viewers, as the anchorperson clearly read out at the time of broadcast."

    Baldoni, 56, disappeared last week on the road to Najaf, the scene of fierce fighting between US troops and the al-Mahdi Army of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr.

    In addition to reporting for Italian newspapers, Baldoni was volunteering for the Red Cross while in Iraq.

    Four other Italians have been captured in Iraq since April by groups seeking to force US allies to leave the country.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The Power Worshippers: A look inside the American religious right

    The Power Worshippers: A look inside the American religious right

    An insight into the history and present of Christian nationalism, the movement behind Donald Trump's religious support.

    Mapping US police killings of Black Americans

    Mapping US police killings of Black Americans

    Black Americans are two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by police officers.

    From the plague to MERS: A brief history of pandemics

    From the plague to MERS: A brief history of pandemics

    What you need to know about the other pandemics that shook the world.