Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Researcher against coverage of Turku attack suspect

11 Apr 2018, 01:09 ( 11 Months ago) | updated: 11 Apr 2018, 01:13 ( 11 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Turku terror attack suspect Abderrahman Bouanane (C, Front) appears in court in Turku, western Finland, on April 9, 2018. Photo Xinhua.

A research manager of the Helsinki-based conflict research institute (CMI) has appealed to Finnish media not to spread certain images of the Moroccan man accused of killing two and injuring eight in Turku, western Finland last August.

At the beginning of his trial in Turku on Monday, photographers were able to take pictures of Abderrahman Bouanane. Contrary to the common practice, Bouanane did not hide his face but looked directly to cameras and gave a calm impression. Some commentators said they saw a slight smile.

Finnish law allows a defendant to cover his or her face when media photographers are taking photos.

Hussein al-Taee, a program manager of CMI, said in social media on Monday that Finnish newsmedia should publish "no more smiling pictures" of Bouanane. "The media should not offer Bouanane the possibility of spreading his propaganda".

Al-Taee claimed that Bouanane is "still at war against us". The CMI manager said that the media should not tell a story defined by Bouanane himself.

He said the accused wanted to carry out a major terrorist attack in Finland and to court the ISIS. "He must not be allowed to send his message to other fanatics or spread discord among Finns," he added.

Besides using the photo-opportunity in the court room, Finnish media also reported in detail Bouananes' statements in the court. The accused was not scheduled to talk, but he intervened on his own and spoke.

There was no general television coverage of the hearing that took place in Turku prison on Monday, but photographers were allowed in at the start for several minutes.

The hearings are to continue until mid-May.