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Wednesday, 15 May, 2002, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Pearl family anger at broadcast
Daniel Pearl
Daniel Pearl's body has never been found
The family of a murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl have reacted with outrage to the broadcast of video footage of the moments directly preceding the journalist's execution.


By showing this video, CBS or any other broadcaster willing to show it proves that they fall without shame into the terrorists' plan

Daniel Pearl's family
The video tape - broadcast by CBS News network on Tuesday - showed footage of the journalist saying he was Jewish and reading an anti-American statement.

CBS News did not show footage of the moment of Pearl's execution.

In a statement, Mr Pearl's family said CBS's decision was "heartless" and called on other networks not to broadcast the tape.


It's important for Americans to see it [the tape], and to understand the full impact and danger of the vicious propaganda being spread against the United States

CBS
Mr Pearl, a reporter for the Wall street Journal, was kidnapped in Karachi on 23 January while investigating a story about Islamic militants in Pakistan.

His body has never been found but a video tape confirming his death was delivered to US officials in Pakistan on 21 February.

Four men accused of kidnapping and killing Mr Pearl have gone on a trial in Pakistan.

'Despicable propaganda'

The statement issued by the Pearl family criticised attempts to rationalise the television network's decision to air what it called "this despicable terrorist propaganda video".

Daniel Pearl shackled in captivity
Pearl was investigating a story on Islamic militants
It is beyond our comprehension that any mother, wife, father or sister should have to relive this horrific tragedy and watch their loved one being repeatedly terrorised".

"Terrorists have made this video confident that the American media would broadcast it and thereby serve their exact purpose.

"By showing this video, CBS or any other broadcaster willing to show it proves that they fall without shame into the terrorists' plan".

'Important' video

CBS said it decided to show the video - entitled "The slaughter of the spy journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl" - after considerable deliberation and despite the US Government's calls not to air it.

"We believe it's important for Americans to see it, and to understand the full impact and danger of the vicious propaganda being spread against the United States," senior CBS presenter Dan Rather said.

He said that graphic scenes were not aired for taste reasons and out of respect for the Pearl family.

CBS said the tape had been found on an Arabic web site and was a recruiting poster for radical Islamic organisations.

Gruesome footage

It carries Arabic sub-titles translating Mr Pearl's words and is interspersed with news footage of Israeli forces fighting Palestinians.

CBS says the tape begins with Mr Pearl giving a brief description of his roots.

"My father's Jewish. My mother's Jewish. I'm Jewish."

Mr Pearl then goes on to recite an anti-American statement apparently prepared by his captors.

"We Americans cannot continue to bear the consequences of our government actions such as the unconditional support given to the state of Israel."

The CBS said the tape ends with Mr Pearl's beheading.

Several US television companies have recently said they have copies of the tape, but have decided not to show it citing its graphic content.

See also:

12 May 02 | South Asia
FBI agent testifies at Pearl trial
09 May 02 | South Asia
Pearl suspects' plea rejected
30 Apr 02 | South Asia
Pearl trial lawyers win new venue
24 Apr 02 | South Asia
New evidence in Pearl case hearings
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