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Jewish group wants Kazemi exhibit restored

2005-06-13 10:50:00

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Jewish group wants Kazemi exhibit restored
Last Updated Fri, 10 Jun 2005 17:56:45 EDT
CBC Arts

A Jewish group in Montreal is accusing city authorities of censorship over its decision to remove a library exhibit of the work of murdered photojournalist Zahra Kazemi.

On Friday, members of the Canada Jewish Alliance Against the Occupation held a mock book-banishing ceremony in front of the Côte-St-Luc library where Kazemi's photos had been on display.

* RELATED STORY: Library removes Kazemi photos after complaint

A member of the group, Lillian Robinson, used metal tongs to drop a book into a bright orange biohazard bag. It was one of several books about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that she and the Jewish Alliance borrowed from the library to make a point about freedom of expression.

"A library, of all places, is a place where all opinions, different opinions, are aired," Robinson said.

* INDEPTH: Zahra Kazemi

She says Zahra Kazemi's photos of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories belong in the library. She says it's absurd that a complaint about those pictures convinced borough officials to take them down.

"What are they afraid of? They're afraid of a woman who died for free expression, for freedom of the press," Robinson said.

Others linked to the Alliance say exhibiting the photos could help foster more debate within Montreal's Jewish community about the conflict in the Occupied Territories.

Daniel Thau-Leff says the photos are powerful because they are provocative.

"They [city officials] should be offended, but not by the fact that the photos were taken, or [are] being shown. They should be offended by what's being shown, which is a brutal military occupation," Thau-Leff said.

The Jewish Alliance wants the Borough of Côte St. Luc-Hampstead-Montreal-West to restore Kazemi's photo exhibit. It is also demanding an apology for the photojournalist's family.

Copyright ©2005 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved


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