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After refusing strip search, Yle journalist barred from Pence-Netanyahu press conference in Israel

An Israel-based NGO attributed the security officials' treatment of the Finnish journalist to her Palestinian background.

Israelnin pääministeri Benjamin Netanjahu ja Yhdysvaltain varapresidentti Mike Pence.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Vice President Mike Pence. Image: Ariel Schalit / EPA

An Yle journalist was refused entry to a press conference on Monday featuring US Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after refusing a strip search.

The Middle East correspondent, who had been duly accredited to the event, was directed by officials to step behind a curtain in the office of the Israeli PM. Once there, she was questioned, patted down and searched with a metal detector.

Security officials reportedly then asked the woman to remove her bra, which she refused to do. She was then barred from attending the press conference.

The Foreign Press Association in Israel attributed the security officials’ treatment of the Finnish journalist to her Palestinian background. The NGO further condemned local security officials for ethnic profiling.

“We consider the incident to be extremely unfortunate and serious. We do not accept the treatment of reporter in the manner that occurred. Yle has reacted with all the means available, but we will not publicly disclose those measures,” said Yle’s head of world news and current affairs, Elina Ravantti.

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