On Friday 24 January, LM magazine received a letter from ITN's lawyers threatening libel action unless the editor agreed to pulp the entire February issue, apologise to their journalists and pay damages. This threat was in response to the article "The picture that fooled the world" by German journalist Thomas Deichmann, which reveals the truth about the famous ITN pictures of Bosnian Muslims apparently imprisoned behind a barbed wire fence at Trnopolje camp in August 1992.
The pictures provoked an international outcry and were seen by much of the world as proof that the Bosnian Serbs were running Nazi-style 'concentration camps'. But Deichmann, who was called as an expert witness to the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague, says that the image of Muslims behind barbed wire was created by 'camera angles and editing'.
Deichmann has revisited Trnopolje and has also seen unused video footage that shows how this powerful image was shot. He found that:
- there was no barbed wire fence surrounding the Trnopolje camp
- the camp was a collection centre for refugees, not a prison
- the refugees in the picture were not surrounded by barbed wire. The barbed wire surrounded the news team who were filming from inside a small compound next to the camp.
Mick Hume, LM editor says:
'We stand 100% behind Thomas Deichmann's article. There is one simple way to resolve the issue. ITN should show the full, unedited footage which its team filmed at Trnopolje on the 5 August 1992. Then everybody will know the truth.
For further information and comment contact:
Jan Macvarish, LM Press Officer
0171 278 9908
(0831 246 694 out of hours)