The chief editorial staff at the Flemish public service broadcaster says that the man‚Äôs decision to go into hiding stems from confusion in the aftermath of the filming of an undercover report about the Somali pirate Afweyne.
The VRT‚Äôs Board of Chief Editors said in a statement “The problems faced by this contributor have no doubt arisen from the confusion about the role of the press and the authorities that was created by the arrest of the Somali ‚Äúpirate king‚Äù Afweyne.”
The statement was also signed by VRT News‚Äô Board of Ethics, the Flemish Association of Journalists and the General Association of Professional Journalists in Belgium.
The Board of Chief Editors points to an undercover operation in which Somali police officers posed as journalists making a documentary about Afweyne
Reports of the operation were published in the international press and ‚Äúhave possibly put the contributor‚Äôs work in a bad light.‚Äù
“Such undercover operations make the public mistrust the press and even endanger journalists.‚Äù
The VRT learned that the contributor had gone underground from local sources on Thursday afternoon. The broadcaster’s Anneke Ernon told journalists that at this moment the VRT is unable to do anything to help the contributor.